Within the last couple of weeks, a lot of issues have been raised about Drew Dining policies and the Commons’ food, and that was great. The only problem was the fact that there was almost no follow-up by many of the students involved in the protests. Yes, it was nice to see a very small handful of people who were present at the protest at the Student Government Town Hall meeting on dining the following week, but where was everybody else? Why were there at least 50 people at the protest and then not even a Crawford-Hall-full of people raising issues?
While I do understand that apathy is a huge problem on this campus—I’ll be the first to admit that I could definitely get more involved on campus—but come on, apathy in the face of your own food? That’s just un-American.
Everyday I hear people complaining about the Commons food. Yet every time there is a meeting about it, almost none of those people are there to address those issues. A perfect example of the situation is the fact that the protest took place at midnight into Wednesday morning. Then there was a protest 12 hours later in the Commons when they marched to Mead Hall and had an airing of grievances. Then the very next day there just so happened to be a bi-weekly meeting of the Dining Committee—how perfect was that? These protests mindlessly took place even though there were numerous legitimate and more productive modes in which these protestors could have addressed their issues. Twenty-four hours after the end of the march to Mead Hall, there was a Dining Committee meeting these protestors could have attended to productively voice their concerns. Instead of showing and legitimately addressing issues like cross-contamination and vegan options, nobody was there. Instead of addressing the problems to the people who can fix them, they stood outside whining.
The protests were flawed from the beginning. From the first Facebook post, it become very obvious that Drewids did not understand the differences between Drew Dining and Aramark. For those of you that still don’t, Drew is bound by a contract with Aramark for our food service. Now that’s the easy part. The part that gets tricky is that Drew has the authority to hire and fire pretty much all of the Commons employees, but Aramark signs all of their checks. So, needless to say, all of the rules that govern the Commons are decided by the University administration, not Aramark. The school also decides how much they pay for the food provided by Aramark, and while Aramark does have good food options, its quality of service just depends how much you’re willing to pay.
Lastly the protests fizzled out almost as soon as they started. By Friday, the whole issue had blown over and now, weeks later, nothing has happened. Where are the “Les Misérables” references? Where are the angry people? Come on people, fight for your right to consume quality food.