SG approves resolution supporting food trucks on campus

Nashwa Bawab

Student Government approved an initiative Tuesday supporting the addition of food trucks to campus.

The legislation will allow SG members to work with appropriate administrative entities to bring vendors to campus and approve locations for food trucks to operate. The food trucks are anticipated to arrive near the Student Activity Center by February 2016, when a new portion of the plaza will be completed, according to SG President Xavier Rotnofsky.

Dylan Adkins, SG representative and co-author of the legislation, said he wanted to bring an Austin atmosphere to campus by bringing an Austin tradition to UT.

“Food trucks are a part of Austin life,” Adkins said. “We wanted to bring some of Austin life onto campus and just make Austin home for us and home for all the freshman, sophomore, juniors and seniors.”

A request for proposal with the list of possible food truck vendor options was sent to University Unions and includes vendors such as Torchy’s Tacos, The Peached Tortilla and Chi’lantro, according to Rotnofsky. The list of vendors is not yet official but was curated by opinions from the SG assembly in order to get an idea of what students might want, according to Rotnofsky.

“The list is just used to kind of see what theme we want for the food trucks. It doesn’t necessarily mean those are the ones coming,” Rotnofsky said. “Once everything is in place for the food trucks to come, the business side will be implemented, and that’s when this request for proposal will be useful.”

Rohit Mandalapu, SG vice president, said food truck pads — where the food trucks will be placed — have already been allocated and will most likely be placed on speedway after future renovations are completed. Mandalapu said he hopes the food trucks will bring some much-needed Austin culture and, more importantly, that they will alleviate long lines by giving students more options.

“Food trucks are something that we want so that when you’re here on campus, around the SAC area, between the hours of 11 p.m. and 2 a.m., you don’t have to wait in line for 20 minutes, because it is kind of hard to do that,” Mandalapu said. “We wanted to push food trucks not only because it [could] help alleviate some of that mess, but it also brings in Austin culture of quirky and interesting food truck ideas."

Connor Madden, SG representative and co-author of the legislation, said through an SG initiative called “SG Listens,” which was a social media and tabling initiative made to get feedback on what students wanted on their campus, he was able to see that many students wanted more dining options on campus but that food trucks especially stuck out.  

“We did a lot of tabling, and we heard from a lot of students that they wanted more food options on campus, and so that was kind of the initiative that this came out of,” Madden said. “People love food trucks, and we are excited to help bring them to campus.”