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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Monday, June 24, 2024

Carmichael and Dewick no longer allow table-tent ads

Students returning to the Hill this semester have probably noticed cleaner tables, and some club heads have had to rethink how they do promotion, as the Carmichael and Dewick-MacPhie Dining Halls have banned the distribution of paper advertisements on tables.

Carmichael received other updates this summer, including additions to the menu and new signs above serving stations.

David Kelley, the unit manager at Carmichael, said his staff has "brightened things up" by repainting the serving area and kitchen. Carmichael also improved its recycling program, he said.

The new signs and fresh paint job came as a result of a yearly Dining Services student survey in which Carmichael has consistently scored low in appearance, according to Kelley.

"The quality of the food and special events are fantastic," but students wanted a facelift, Kelley said.

The new policy banning table tents also leaves Carmichael looking fresher, he said. In the past, student groups used table tents, flyers folded to stand up in a triangle and strewn on dining tables, to promote events.

"It's not that we don't like them, but you'd be surprised at how many we throw away," Carmichael Chef Manager Peter Kourafalos said. "It's a lot better for the environment. Everyone's going green."

The policy was simply created to reduce paper, said Kelly, who added that at times the number of tents on tables at Carmichael could reach between 1,000 and 1,200.
    A student announcement board now hangs in Carmichael's entrance way in lieu of the table tents.

Sophomore Ryan Stolp hung a poster for the Tufts Observer on the board. "The wall is maybe a little less effective, but overall makes up for the fact that you're not using a lot of paper or cluttering the dining hall," he said.

Senior Jessica Snow, vice president of public relations for the Inter-Greek Council, said table tenting had been an important marketing strategy for fraternities and sororities.

"Table tents were [good] for us, and we're going to have to come up with new, creative ways for recruitment," she said. "The thing about table tents is that you could read them while doing something else. We have to find another method that can be as well integrated into daily life."

As Carmichael worked to update its appearance this summer, the dining staff made some slight changes to its menu.

According to Kelley, Dining Services constantly updates the menu based on student input. "The kids love change, and that's what we try to do," he said.

To that end, the cafeteria added a burrito bar to the lunch service on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Two new slow cookers also allow the team to start cooking dishes overnight, according to Kourafalos.

Kelley said the Carmichael staff considers all student suggestions, but he added that it can take weeks to integrate a new item because the process involves finding a vendor and checking the product's affordability.

"Something as simple as adding one item takes a lot of time," Kourafalos said, explaining that putting Dr. Pepper in the soda machine involved running a line through the hall's entire ceiling. Carmichael employees are also planning a special Academy Awards event in February, in which a red carpet will be laid down and the management will wear white tuxedos. "I think the kids are going to love that one," Kelley said.

The 26 staffers at Carmichael were recognized for exceptional customer service at the first annual Tufts Distinction Awards in June. The team received the Extra Mile Award at the ceremony, which honored dedicated members of the Tufts faculty and staff.

"Carmichael won it, but it was a win for everyone in Dining," Kelley said. "Everyone can be proud for working in Dining Services."


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