Joey Coleman: Food Service Issues at Lakehead University

Food Service Issues at Lakehead University

I was approached by a source just now and informed that food services is an issue at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay.
Here is a summary a news article from the Argus (the student newspaper at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay) I was directed and found this at KAPTINHOOKS’ BLOG
Here is the entire article from the Argus (they do not have a permalink for it yet):

Aramark under attack?
Students host sit in discussion over food service provider
Rob Rombouts/ Argus
In a move that many may agree was a long time coming, a group of students hosted a sit-in discussion and protest in the residence cafeteria on March 26th, to voice their displeasure over the services provided by Aramark. The protest, however, appears to have fallen upon deaf ears.
Despite hopes that Nick Burgenia, manager of Aramark services at Lakehead University, John Rose, District Manager of Aramark or even Shannon Foster or David Hare, of Residence, might show up to hear the concerns of the students, those involved were only greeted with the kitchen staff working that evening and a few security guards ensuring that everything was okay.
Still, the students sat and discussed their feelings towards the food. The protest was the product of Allison Skirtschak who had worked over the past week to build support for the cause. An essay had been circulating earlier, which spurred the idea for the protest. Mike Marcus, Ian Daspi and Gavin also helped to develop arguments and concerns.
The concerns were essentially divided into four main themes, which were integrity, quality, reliability and cost. The students feel that they are not respected by Aramark, and demand more respect. On this note, an unnamed Aramark employ stated: “I think that a lot of it has to do with how the management treats the students and how the students teach the management. There is not a lot of respect either way.”
Other students spoke of the lack of nutritional information and ingredients and the lack of quality in the food. “Honestly, even though they say you have a choice, there isn’t” said Muzi N. One student told a story of finding mold in the juice. Another student said “They’ve turned eating from something I enjoyed doing into a chore.”
Finally, others spoke of the costs of the services, suggesting other options that could be implemented, including a declining balance system.
It was a peaceful protest, not meant to bash or attack Aramark. The intent was to provide an opportunity for students and Aramark to make respectful a compromise.
“This is something that will not only impact the students now, but the students of the future” said Skirtschak.
There were, however, some students that spoke in favour of the service provider. Matt Canning provided this comment: “I have nothing but positive comments for both the excellent Aramark food and staff. I don’t even live in residence and I come here almost daily. Nick does a job second to none when it comes to managing this place. I feel sorry for the students who constantly whine and complain about the quality. It must be horrible to live a life with such unreasonable expectations and I’m sure it leads to plenty of disappointment. I’m happy that’s not me.”
There were others that provided a more reasoned comment. Derek Mundle said that he understood that Aramark was a business and that “they doing the best they can.” He also stated that the protest was not a statement against the staff in anyway.
Ian Daspi said that he understood that while Aramark was a business, it still has to suit the students. Daspi previously worked as a secret shopped for Aramark and explained that even when he suggested changes to Aramark, things would only change for a short time.
Daspi stated that “Aramark has the potential to clean up its act. It just needs a management team to enforce it.”
LUSU President Elect Adam Krupper was among those in attendance and praised the students, stating that the protest was constructive, important and assertive. It was student involved and over a relevant issue. Krupper also stated that it was disappointing that Aramark had chosen to avoid the discussions with students. “In five years, I’ve never seen student do something this constructive. It’s too bad Aramark has chosen to ignore it.”
The group now plans to organize a meeting with Nick Burgenia based on his schedule,” so Nick doesn’t have excuses to miss it”
Skirtschak stated “We need to develop change that can be implemented, legitimate and firm.”