Geneva College’s “Go Green” campaign made another step forward this year. Beginning August 7, Geneva’s cafeteria, Alexander Dining Hall, will be a “no-tray zone”. This decision was prompted by the results of a student survey conducted at the end of April. Students were shown data on the amount of water saved and the decrease in food waste that happened during the one month trayless trial in March and were then asked to vote on whether they believed Geneva should implement a full-time trayless policy in the dining hall.
The savings from the trial month were substantial. Food waste was reduced by up to 45 percent, and the water bill was decreased by $250. With the information laid in front of them, students turned out in large numbers to vote. Over 560 students participated in the survey with 55 percent voting in favor of removing the trays.
Addie Fisher, a sophomore math education major, was convinced going trayless was the right move after seeing these statistics. “With all the waste we eliminate, it is worth taking an extra trip to the cafeteria line to get another plate of food if I need it,” she explained.
The research and trials were sponsored by the Geneva College Student Union (GCSU) and encouraged by Pioneer Food Service. Both of these groups saw value in removing the trays, but did not want to make changes without input from students. With the survey results in and the majority of students in favor of removing the trays, the new trayless policy will be implemented at the beginning of this coming school year.
A majority of student do not see the lack of trays as being a big issue. Senior biochemistry major Josh Andre says, “I have already been trayless for two years and have got along fine.”
Pioneer Food Service requests that no outside trays be brought into Alexander’s. There will be a number of trays available for those with disabilities or young children who require the use of a tray. Pioneer is also looking to accommodate students by setting up more stations for the pickup of silverware and cups.
Geneva College is a comprehensive Christian college of the arts, sciences and professional studies. Founded in the tradition of the Reformed Christian faith, Geneva prepares students to serve Christ in all areas of society: work, family and the church. Geneva College’s philosophy of education is based on the Foundational Concepts of Christian Higher Education. Geneva is a founding member of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU).
Geneva awards bachelor's degrees in nearly 40 undergraduate major areas of study and offers seven master’s degree programs.