GUSA Dishes Up Old Fix
Published: Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, February 5, 2013 01:02
It’s commendable that GUSA wants to make food services better, but the senate’s newest creation of the Subcommittee on Food Service may prove hard to swallow.
Last year’s Georgetown University Student Association elections saw multiple candidates campaign on improving food services, highlighting the genuine need on campus for a concerted effort to improve on-campus dining. In the past several years — and especially this past semester — Aramark, Georgetown’s food service provider, has come under fire for everything from unfair compensation of workers to numerous health code violations. In November, the GUSA senate moved in the right direction with a food service quality bill, which led to improvement of the stir fry and salad bar stations. The new Subcommittee on Food Services represents a continuation of that effort and demonstrates reassuring commitment to this cause.
But GUSA already has a committee to deal with food services. The Executive External Committee for Food Service was designed to tackle these issues and even includes overlapping members from the new senate subcommittee.
GUSA senators involved with the creation of the subcommittee say that while the existing committee has been successful, it hasn’t done enough for food services, adding that the senate wants to take the matter into its own hands. But if GUSA hopes to be a true force for change on campus, it must remember that cooperation between the senate and the executive sends a stronger message to administrators and the student body than creating separate committees that, by all indications, are redundant.
The subcommittee’s ideas are good ones. By pursuing non-GUSA student input and creating surveys that would provide information to groups other than Aramark, the new committee could foster accountability and insert a stronger student voice into food-services decisions. But to earn the respect and support of administrators, Aramark and students alike, the subcommittee must prove that it is more than bureaucratic overlap. This will entail working hand in hand with the executive committee, perhaps providing the catalyst it needs to move the stalled planning forward.
As GUSA campaign season approaches, candidates can increase their credibility and move platforms forward by remembering that responsibility and initiative should not be shifted back and forth between GUSA’s branches, but fostered collaboratively.