The food service provider of UNB has been receiving a great deal of attention among students recently. A petition was released at UNB Fredericton and students are voicing their opinions on what sort of standards they want their food providers to set.
As the contract between UNB and Aramark comes to an end, there is a chance that Aramark could be replaced by a competing company for next year.
Many students are under the assumption that the chosen food provider will be solely based on cost, but want other factors to also be taken into consideration.
The first demand that students at UNBF are requesting is that the food contract only be for a maximum of five years. This demand comes from a confusing system that many students are not aware of. The contract does in fact run on a five year basis. After the five years is up, the school has a chance to renew it with no contest each year after that up to five times. This system is effective granted that the company continues to fit satisfactory criteria. After the next five years, other food companies are also able to apply for the position.
Secondly, students are demanding that health information be clearly visible to all students. They are lobbying for healthier and more affordable food options as well as for healthy food to be prepare on demand rather than prepackaged.
The students running the petition are also interested in ensuring that proper quality measures are taken into consideration. They are asking that the food provider be required to purchase and prepare a certain grade level of food. They also want students to be involved in the choosing of the food and for surveys to be issued to students for feedback on a regular basis.
Finally, students want local retail companies to be able to provide food services on campus without restrictions. By doing so, they feel that students will be more satisfied with the selection of food available as well as actively engage the university with the community. They argue that diverse eating experiences at school will increase the attitude towards campus food.
As much of this debate is centered in Fredericton, how does it affect UNBSJ? While the contract is almost up, UNBSJ could also see a change in the company that provides cafeteria food. Aramark is still in the running, but other businesses are also interested.
Due to the fact that no large scale protests towards cafeteria food have been made on our campus, it’s safe to assume that students are either satisfied with the service they’re receiving or merely don’t care about the issue at hand.
Even some students that do live on campus, such as fourth year student, Kasi LeBlond don’t use the cafeteria often. “I just don’t go there a lot,” says LeBlond, “probably because they don’t have a lot of healthy options.” If one student feels this way, there is a good chance that others do too.
UNBSJ is notorious for being conservative about problems they find with the university and don’t often voice their opinion. Students are always encouraged to express their suggestions and comments for change and stand up for things that truly matter.
Food is an important aspect of student life, so make sure it’s working for you.