Student Senate unanimously endorsed a proposal to open a bid for Bon Appétit Management Company at its regular meeting last week.
The student group that brought up the proposal, led by sophomore Aliya Haykus, is doing so as part of a project in the Environmental Studies Department. The group is currently passing out pamphlets and circulating a petition, which had already garnered over 200 signatures in the first day.
Bon Appétit services over 400 collegiate institutions across the nation, according to Haykus, and it is largely geared toward sustainability and organic products. The company ensures that at least 20 percent of the food it uses will come from local sources. (As was clarified by a question from senior Vice President David Barton, they define local as a 150-mile radius.)
In terms of cost, Haykus said that the college may spend about the same or less than it does currently with its dining services budget. However, this will not be certain until the bidding process is opened and Bon Appétit representatives come to campus to determine the cost.
“Our dining services budget right now is $4.1 million per year,” Haykus said. “Through looking at other schools, we found that actually our budget is more or close to those other schools that already have Bon Appétit, and so it would be financially viable.”
The petition stipulates that there will be no increases in board fees, current dining services employees must be offered a job with Bon Appétit and union contracts must be honored.
Haykus also specified that the group has already been in contact with Vice President for Finance Tom Axtell, Director of Dining Services Helmut Mayer and union representatives.
Senate had some regular business to address. Barton led a discussion concerning Senate’s overall feelings about the two finals schedule proposals before the Executive Committee.
Senate also approved the allocation of the Student Activity Fee, which was reviewed and approved by the Student Life Committee last week.
The consent agenda for the meeting, which was passed, included a restricted fund request for new pool cues in the Taylor Student Lounge and budgeting for French Club and Anthropology and Sociology Club for next year.
Senate also officially deactivated ten clubs. According to junior Treasurer Gordon Barratt, these particular clubs chosen for deactivation have no leadership, were non-budgeted or were budgeted and had not spent any money over the last year.