Junior Clara Torres, a student worker at the Gizmo, has become increasingly frustrated at the handling of current issues surrounding Bon Apptit.
“After bringing this issue to President [Teresa] Amott É she basically said there were only a few students speaking out on Bon Apptit, so it wasn’t a problem,” Torres said.
Since similar students have experienced indifference from the Bon Apptit management and Knox administration, Alliance for Peaceful Action decided to take matters into their own hands by use of an “underground” dining services forum held Monday night. Attendees not only discussed the indifference expressed by Bon Apptit, but also the hostility, citing the responses from the purple suggestion cards.
One major issue discussed this academic year has been the lack of labeling on food options, potentially harming students with to food allergies. Former Director of Dining Services Helmut Mayer was also in attendance and believed that this was a simple issue to be eradicated.
“Knox must label the food. They just need to input the recipe,” Mayer said. However, the problem continues to persist.
Co-Presidents of Alliance for Peaceful Action sophomores Alex Davis and Sam Klingher led the forum. They wrote down a list of demands to the Knox administration as well as possible techniques to obtain them. Davis suggested a protest outside President Amott’s residence. Prior to the forum, Davis and Klingher met with Vice President of Finance and Administrative Services Keith Archer to answer their questions. According to their meeting, Archer said that outsourcing to Bon Apptit was not due to financial reasons.
Although the forum was sparsely attended, Klingher said he was still happy with the turnout and believed that it is these students who will make a change. The room also held Assistant Director of Student Activities and Engagement Travis Greenlee, who said he came out to hear from the students directly. Greenlee maintained the importance of compromise.
“We listen to the students and say ‘no,’ but then we figure out how to get them at least closer to their wants. It’s about a partnership,” he said.
Following the forum, Torres remained optimistic. “Students have already spoken up and nothing has been done, but we just have to keep trying,” she said.