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Thurston dining hall to ‘soft launch’ Thursday as officials introduce new facility

Raphael Kellner | Photographer
Seth Weinshel, the associate vice president of business services, said the Thurston Hall dining hall underwent its health inspection Wednesday, and – pending its clearance – the dining hall will “soft launch” Thursday through Saturday.

Thurston Hall’s dining facility is set to “soft launch” Thursday and remain open through Saturday, pending a health inspection and final on-site training for staff, a University official said at a Student Association Senate meeting Monday.

Seth Weinshel, the associate vice president of business services, said at the meeting that the health department performed a health inspection on the facility last Wednesday before GW could receive clearance to open the dining hall. He said the University secured a certificate of occupancy for the facility, and food has already been delivered to the site.

“We will communicate with the residents of Thurston first, invite them to come and enjoy the dining hall,” he said. “And then once we get two to three days of that and we’re confident that the staff and the equipment are working as they should, we will communicate to the larger community.”

Weinshel said the dining hall will operate on an all-you-care-to-eat model, featuring a sandwich and bakery station. He said the facility will have a “pure eats” station separate from the rest of the dining hall serving food without the eight “major allergens.”

“We have been training staff at the Pelham dining hall on the Mount Vernon campus,” he said. “They are ready to go.”

Weinshel said in his presentation to the senate that the construction of the dining halls in Shenkman and Thurston halls were delayed because of issues with the supply chain. He said the dining facility in Shenkman Hall is on track to open next spring.

“We ran into some supply chain issues in getting materials,” he said. “And so we should get the last of our materials mid this month.”

He said the University will open a cafe in the Hillel building “at some point in the very near future,” and it plans to create a “student dining commission” once the dining halls are open to gain feedback on the facilities.

The senate also voted 27-4 to pass the Encouraging Leadership Act, which will allow senators to hold two leadership committee positions and one chair position, a change from the previous limit of one leadership position per senator.

SA Sen. Rami Hanash Jr., GWSB-U, said the legislation eliminates restrictions on leadership positions to “increase flexibility” in student leadership.

“My purpose in putting this resolution forward is the idea that by allowing senators to run for multiple leadership positions, it ensures that the best person is chosen for the duties requested of them, while also ensuring that no individual feels pressure to run for a leadership position if there are instances of no other senator wanting that position,” Hanash said.

SA Sen. Gabriel Young, CCAS-U said he is wary of the legislation because it consolidates power and could make “a senate deep state.”

“I really don’t like this,” he said. “They did acknowledge though that this entire bill’s purpose was for efficient leadership yet at the same time, it will consolidate power into a few.”

The senate also unanimously passed the Logo Contest Award Act, which appropriates $300 from SA revenues to pay the creator of the SA’s new logo following the design contest last spring.

The senate unanimously confirmed four senate staff members and a new executive treasurer.

The next senate meeting will be October 17 at 8:30 p.m. in Post Hall on the Mount Vernon campus.

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About the Contributor
Erika Filter, News Editor
Erika Filter is a senior majoring in international affairs from Carson City, Nevada. She leads the Metro beat as one of The Hatchet's 2023-2024 news editors and previously served as the assistant news editor for the Student Government beat.
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