Institute Dining Review
Community Involvement Program


  1. General Process
  2. Advisory Board
  3. Community Involvement Group

General Process

General: This project has three distinct phases. The first phase, to be held over the summer and the beginning of the fall term, will determine the needs and wants of the MIT Community concerning a new dining framework. The second phase, which will occur during the remainder of the fall term, will have the MIT Community design a new dining system. The third phase, which will take place during IAP and the beginning of the Spring term, will see the "detailed" implementation of the new system.

First Phase: During the first phase, the Working Group and the Advisory Board will:

  1. Study the current dining situation at MIT.
  2. Study the results of previous efforts to improve campus dining.
  3. Contact members of the MIT Community to find out what the Community wants in its campus dining service.
  4. From parts 1 and 2, compile the information we learn into a matrix of requirements.
  5. Collect ideas that the MIT Community might want to use in designing a new food service framework.

The Review will use a variety of methods to get community input on its needs and wants, including public forums, surveys, and focus groups. The review will rely largely on an initial round of open meetings and the focus groups to define the need of the community. It will use surveys to get quantitative data on dining patterns and expenditures, and may use surveys to confirm needs raised by the open meetings and focus groups. Finally, the review will use public meetings to get an overrall view of food service issues that need to be studied, and to get ideas for the redesign of food services.

Second Phase: During the second phase, the Food Service Working Group, the Advisory Board, and the MIT Community at large will design a new food service framework. To this end, the Group will:

  1. Provide the MIT Community with the information necessary to design a new food service framework.
  2. Provide the Community with a process to participate in developing the framework. The technique used will be exponential communication (XC).
  3. Collate the opinions of the community into a single model, if possible, and write the model into a formal proposal.

Exponential communication is a technique which will allow the thousands of members of the MIT Community at large to work with the rest of the Review to design a new system (food service in our case). Here is a brief outline of the technique:

  1. The Review will recruit and train a Community Involvement Group (CIG). It will educate the MIT Community at large about the Dining Review, the CIG, and the identities of their "assigned" CIG member.
  2. The Food Service Working Group provides the members of the CIG with regular updates on ideas (towards the beginning of the design phase) and more concrete proposals (towards the end).
  3. The CIG members forward these updates to groups of constituents determined by the CIG and the rest of the Review. (They may do so through e-mail, posters, meetings, etc.) The constituents send their opinions to their assigned CIG member.
  4. The CIG members compile the comments they receive, and send the opinion summaries to the Working Group. Working Group staff then compile the CIG's opinion summaries into a single summary of campus opinion.

During the design phase, steps 1-3 should be repeated as frequently as appropriate.

Third Phase:During this phase, the Review will oversee the development of RFP's and other appropriate contractual changes. Discussion of this phase will be postponed for now.

The Advisory Board

The membership of the board shall be made up of representatives listed by the Committee on Student Affairs plus any other representatives the Working Group finds useful.

Members of the Advisory Board will serve as "experts" to the Institute Dining Review. Further, they will link to "key agencies" in the MIT Community that have an interest in campus dining. They will receive regular updates from the Working Group which will include:

The Advisory Board will then advise the Working Group on ways to carry out the goals of the Institute Dining Review. In particular, the Board should:

The Review expects that Board members will provide regular updates to the groups they represent.

The Community Involvement Group

The Community Involvement Group (CIG) will be open to any member of the MIT Community interested in serving on it. The Dining Review will make an effort to recruit students, faculty, and staff to the CIG. The CIG should meet every 3-4 weeks and will attend several brief training sessions.

The CIG will serve as the primary liaison between the MIT Community at large and the Institute Dining Review. Its duties will include the following:

During this phase, we expect that CIG members will provide their colleagues with regular updates on the work of the Review, and that CIG members will provide the Review with timely and accurate summaries of their colleagues opinions.

Questions? Comments? Ideas? Then send mail to the Institute Dining Review.

Return to the Institute Dining Review Home Page.

Institute Dining Review /
Last Revised 1/13/97