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College Power Players: UC Santa Cruz

College Power Players: UC Santa Cruz

A special report from FM profiles the dining operations at the U.S. universities with the largest campus resident populations. See all colleges >>

33. University of California-Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA

Dining Head: Scott Berlin, director of dining & hospitality services
Total Enrollment: 16,753
Students Living on Campus: 8,200
No. of Meal Plans Sold: 8,500
Annual Dining Program Revenues: $30.9 million
Cost Range of Residential Meal Plans: $1,824-$4,092/year
No. of Residential Dining Halls/Commons: 5
No. of Retail Outlets: 18
Management: self-operated
Phone: (831) 459-5784

The newest initiative for UCSC Dining is aquaponic produce from local producer Viridis, said to be the purest, highest standard of produce possible. It also entered into a contract with Sea to Table to supply seafood directly fished from sustainable Wild American Fisheries (half each from Alaska and Maine) with emphasis on “under-loved” species.

This helps balance the ecosystem and produces the freshest possible product. UCSC Dining is also committed to buying 8,000 lbs. of potatoes for the fall menu from the school’s organic campus farm in addition to getting as much produce as is available.

Also new is a hotel style Sun Brunch at the Colleges 9/10 Dining Hall, with multiple service stations serving items like Eggs Benedict and carved meats to order.  The AYCTE locations have traditionally been self-service, but this year are going to full service to increase customer satisfaction while hitting various other parameters like reduced contamination of allergens, customer satisfaction thru increased staff interaction resulting in better choices for their meal, matching up servings with nutritional information and waste reduction.  

Menus at all locations have been updated to focus on seasonality of various items.  The commitment to sustainability is designed both to have a positive impact on the environment and also serve as a draw for prospective students.

Next: 35. Ohio University, Athens, OH
Previous: 33. Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX

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