Usdanistan Update

If you’re a frequent visitor to Wesleyan’s website (like we are) then you’ve noticed their subtle announcement of the new campus center’s existence. They’re excited:

Click here to see detailed project information and the latest CONSTRUCTION PHOTOS!” (emphasis theirs).

From the policies, you can see that in many ways the new campus center is actually less about students and more about offering prospective families a sanitized, pretty building to look at the moment they start their tour and surely no tour will end without a trip to the new Broad Street “Annex” filled with “Wesleyan gear.” The expressed ban of all banners or posters (a predominant feature of the campus center, to be sure) bolsters my claim:

Decorations, posters, banners, etc may not be attached to the walls, ceilings, glass or other surfaces of the Usdan University Center without the express written consent of the University Center staff (emphasis mine).

I’m honestly not trying to be cynical about this new building. I really want it to be awesome. It’s just after two years of promises of better food, more social space, etc made in the shadow of the noisy construction (which I was so privileged to live next to sophomore year), I guess I’m just underwhelmed with the delivery. You could honestly say I’m a bit displeased with the premature marketing of a campus center no student has been able to use yet as a “hub” of campus activity. It’s sort of like they’re forcing us to use it the way most convenient for them, hoping that we’ll go along with whatever the architect envisioned our social habits to be. Sadly, with Bon Appetit doing its damnedest to ignore almost all student suggestions in order to emulate Aramark’s failings with startling precision, I’m less–let’s say–optimistic about the new campus center than I once was.

By the way, if you’re as t’d off as we are about Bon Appetit, please, oh lord, please, by all means, use your free time to construct a beautifully written letter to this guy. Let him know about what “late night” actually means. Or how you feel about having no non-a-la-carte (aka expensive) options for lunch. Or basically anything. Maybe the food is knock-you-on-your-ass terrific. Maybe. But already they’re mirroring many of the problems the student body had with Aramark. Not off to a fine start, in my opinion.

Delmar Crim
Resident District Manager
delmar.crim@cafebonappetit.com

Let us know what you say. CC it to use at Wesleying@gmail.

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24 thoughts on “Usdanistan Update

  1. Anonymous

    I don’t see what’s wrong with marketing the campus center now, even before it’s been put to use. Why shouldn’t the school display the result of a $47 million investment? Are we going to use it in a vastly different way than the architect envisioned? No. We will eat in the dining area, lounge in the lounges, and play in the game room.

  2. Anonymous

    I don’t see what’s wrong with marketing the campus center now, even before it’s been put to use. Why shouldn’t the school display the result of a $47 million investment? Are we going to use it in a vastly different way than the architect envisioned? No. We will eat in the dining area, lounge in the lounges, and play in the game room.

  3. annalisa

    be nice to delmar .. i met him this summer, and he doesn’t deserve bitchy emails.

  4. Justin

    Mr. Crim looks so friendly.I’m almost tempted not to send him a letter explaining how a late night doesn’t end at 1:30 AM.

  5. Justin

    Mr. Crim looks so friendly.

    I’m almost tempted not to send him a letter explaining how a late night doesn’t end at 1:30 AM.

  6. Holly

    Anon #2,To be fair, I was on the student focus group when they were choosing between contracts. I was among the many voices who participated who wanted more locally grown produce (and more produce in general) available to the student body, but who also wanted a venue available 24 hours a day (especially during reading and finals week), and who wanted a compromise between value and health–which very often translates to cafeteria-like settings over a la carte venues. Often for many, the union of a la carte and organic in the same sentence rings as expensive as vegan cafe was as far as value goes. No student could afford to eat Vegan every day and stay within their points budget. For the same reasons, I’m extremely wary of the a la carte options available in lieu of a mocon-style lunch, particularly for low-income students who are financially constrained to on-campus eating. So actually, to be completely honest, I’m rather offended to be called “spoiled” when I express concern for a portion of the student body that often never gets a voice at the table. Sustainability is all well and good, but what happens when some of your fellow students spend half their work study jobs buying food off campus because the on campus food, though environmentally friendly, can’t sustain them?So while I was very pleased with BA being our best option among competitors, they haven’t yet proven themselves to keep up with their promises. Given how they’ve responded to student demand as of right now, I have no faith in them delivering the rest of their promises.

  7. Holly

    Anon #2,

    To be fair, I was on the student focus group when they were choosing between contracts. I was among the many voices who participated who wanted more locally grown produce (and more produce in general) available to the student body, but who also wanted a venue available 24 hours a day (especially during reading and finals week), and who wanted a compromise between value and health–which very often translates to cafeteria-like settings over a la carte venues. Often for many, the union of a la carte and organic in the same sentence rings as expensive as vegan cafe was as far as value goes. No student could afford to eat Vegan every day and stay within their points budget. For the same reasons, I’m extremely wary of the a la carte options available in lieu of a mocon-style lunch, particularly for low-income students who are financially constrained to on-campus eating.

    So actually, to be completely honest, I’m rather offended to be called “spoiled” when I express concern for a portion of the student body that often never gets a voice at the table. Sustainability is all well and good, but what happens when some of your fellow students spend half their work study jobs buying food off campus because the on campus food, though environmentally friendly, can’t sustain them?

    So while I was very pleased with BA being our best option among competitors, they haven’t yet proven themselves to keep up with their promises. Given how they’ve responded to student demand as of right now, I have no faith in them delivering the rest of their promises.

  8. Anonymous

    That is cool, but we’re still paying for their services. It doesn’t sound like they think of us first when it comes down to it. If they would explain why our requests are unreasonable, then that would be okay. But so far, they seem to be ignoring us. I think that if there more communication, the problems without requests could be worked out, but there is no communication. Therefore, we complain.

  9. Anonymous

    That is cool, but we’re still paying for their services. It doesn’t sound like they think of us first when it comes down to it. If they would explain why our requests are unreasonable, then that would be okay. But so far, they seem to be ignoring us. I think that if there more communication, the problems without requests could be worked out, but there is no communication. Therefore, we complain.

  10. Anonymous

    1) the banner thing PISSES me off. I will definitly be writing a letter2) that said, nobody has so much as mentioned B.A’s FOOD policies in reference to organic, sustainable food and animal products without horomones. Also their interest and concern with the environmental impact of agriculture. So while the hours are disappointing, you all come off as a little bratty, spoiled, and egocentric with all your complaining.

  11. Anonymous

    1) the banner thing PISSES me off. I will definitly be writing a letter
    2) that said, nobody has so much as mentioned B.A’s FOOD policies in reference to organic, sustainable food and animal products without horomones. Also their interest and concern with the environmental impact of agriculture. So while the hours are disappointing, you all come off as a little bratty, spoiled, and egocentric with all your complaining.

  12. Anonymous

    you guys are great muckrackers (sp?). the social event policies for usdanistan are EXTREMELY wack- i think it costs mad dollaz to register an event and there are all these other ridiculous restrictions that basically serve to suck away our souls. too lazy to look it up right now though. i love depending on wesleying to figure out what exactly i’m mad about

  13. Anonymous

    you guys are great muckrackers (sp?). the social event policies for usdanistan are EXTREMELY wack- i think it costs mad dollaz to register an event and there are all these other ridiculous restrictions that basically serve to suck away our souls. too lazy to look it up right now though. i love depending on wesleying to figure out what exactly i’m mad about

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