Columbia University Facilities and Operations Participates in “Designing Campus Food Venues” Panel at Society for College and University Planning

”Food for Thought” highlights how dining, food, and customer experience intersect in campus and workplace planning, while aligning with organization priorities. 

March 28, 2024

Members of Facilities and Operations recently attended the regional meeting for the Society for College and University Planning. The organization brings together a cross-section of professionals working in higher education planning and development to share learning on a broad range of areas from strategic and campus plans to academic and institutional effectiveness. 

George Mason University hosted the 2024 Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference over three days of discussions centered around the theme of “The Power of Connection.” Topics highlighted collaborations within government, industry, and community sectors. 

Scott Wright, Vice President of Campus Services, presented as part of a panel on “Designing Campus Food Venues to Build Community and Connection.” The discussion demonstrated how design and placement of food venues is a powerful tool to create campus community.  

Through campus and workplace examples, the panel shared food venue designs that bring people together and foster connections, while also meeting academic and business goals.   

For Columbia, Wright presented recent strategies and implementation of residential dining locations and campus retail cafes, considering factors like placement and building occupancy, menu offerings and concept differentiation, and perhaps most importantly, infrastructure. The latter is a critical point when determining waste management logistics, like the ability to add a dishroom for reusable serving items and other sustainability best practices. Wright shared recent experiences in expanding offerings at Columbia: “The relationship between venue type and location can create challenges or success.” 

Wright was joined by Guido Hartray, Partner, Marvel Architects and Audra Tuskes, Vice President of Design, Marriot.