News and Announcements

Housing and Dining Town Hall

Posted: 2018-12-06 11:07:32   Expiration: 2040-12-13 11:07:32

ASM LogoAssociated Students of Madison 
333 East Campus Mall, Student Activity Center Rm 4301 Madison, WI 53715  

Phone: 608/265-4ASM Fax: 608/265-5637 E-mail:

CONTACT: Annie McGrail, Assistant Press Office Director | 815-708-5236


MADISON, Wis. —  The Associated Students of Madison (ASM) held a Housing and Dining Town Hall with administration from University Housing and Dining and Financial Aid, as well as student leaders on Wednesday, December 5.

On the panel was University Housing Director Jeff Novak, University Dining & Culinary Services Director Peter Testory, Housing Sustainability & Communications Coordinator Breana Nehls, Financial Aid Associate Director for Advising & Outreach Greg Offerman, Open Seat External Director Tye Wilson, F.H. King Programming Director Andrea Seiler and F.H. King Garden Director Erin Brenner.

One student asked the panel about the “opt out” option for the current meal plan and the process for receiving that opt out.

Directory Testory responded by explaining that there is an accessible process that students are able to go through in order to receive an ‘opt out’ based on religious, dietary or financial needs. The process includes talking with Dining staff about the individual situations to see what accommodations need to be made and if the opt out is necessary. There is more information on the FAQ section of the Housing and Dining website.  

“Everyone who asked for an exemption this year has been granted an exemption,” Director Novak said.

In regard to questions asked about the new reusable container program on campus, Director Testory shared the statistics on the effectiveness of the containers. In the month of November, 15,000 containers were returned to the dining halls and around 300 are used at the Gordon Avenue Market daily.

On the topic of sustainability, ASM Sustainability Chair Katie Piel asked about the possibility of implementing sustainability trainings for first-year residents, similar to the mandatory alcohol and sexual assault trainings.

In response, Housing & Sustainability Communication Coordinator Nehls discussed how University Housing provides training for house fellows in addition to events focused on

sustainability education. Right now, Housing is working toward creating a team that would create exciting and engaging ways to teach students about sustainability on the UW campus.

Legislative Affairs Chair Laura Downer thought that the Town Hall was successful in creating a forum for students to “talk openly with decision makers about what real issues affect them.”

“I believe the Town Hall opened up the space for further conversation about affordability and sustainability on campus. Our administrators should be accessible to students, so I hope to see more of these events in the future,” Chair Downer said.


-- Associated Students of Madison: Morgan Grunow