And I’m posting it to the main page because it deserves to be read. Noa Wotton ’10 wrote:
Getting things around the PR machine is wonderful, and genuinely important, but in my opinion we could be a little bit more mature about it. So we complained about poster policy and got their attention – you could call that a victory. Actually, we got their attention enough for them to do the reaching out that we could have done in the first place, to clarify that there was nothing to complain about.
I really appreciate the critical coverage of what the administration is up to, but what I’m trying to say is PLEASE ONLY RAKE MUCK WHEN THERE’S MUCK TO RAKE. Whining about non-issues not only sets a negative tone for all of our experiences here and sabotages those of us who are trying to FACILITATE communication between students and administration, but it trivializes the student voice of protest (that we need carry weight when there’s actually something important at stake).
I hope you know I love you… that said, I wrote a rant in response to your last “what the hell” post about Bon Appétit,
and never got around to posting it, but this is how I feel.
What the hell is right:
I am way more appalled by your ridiculous cynicism than I am by anything Bon Appétit has done. Honestly, it’s getting cliche. They haven’t even moved in and you seem to have already made up your mind to hate them, to loudly rejoice in all of the minutely frustrating details and ignore any good changes that might be trying to grab your attention. Do you hate the food already, too?
Last time, you were complaining about their corny food descriptions (hilarity aside, would YOU write about cafeteria food?). Now, they are rehiring all of our dining staff… but not everyone trusts them yet. Okay, you could assume that makes them the devil, or you could WRITE THEM, like I did, to clarify this and make sure they know we’re going to hold them accountable.
This post is harsher than I usually try to be, but it’s just what honestly comes up… I think I’m seeing something that has frustrated me for a long time (not just on this blog, but with college kids in general) that I haven’t been able to put into words. Basically, your post about Bon Appétit felt whiny and entitled.
I think of those girls on “My Super Sweet Sixteen” who get a $40,000 car for their birthday but throw a fit because it came on the wrong day. Okay, so we’re not dealing with anything close to that level of obnoxiousness, but… still. I guess I’m just hell of grateful that I can eat. And not just eat, but eat basically as much as I want, whenever I want. At a pretty amazing place, with straight up fantastic friends.
I feel like you’re getting off on whining about little inconveniences and just enjoy that more than mentioning the positive changes that are happening.
1. Bon Appétit had nothing to do with rolling dining into the residential comprehensive fee, and since we have no choice in the matter and it’s basically like tuition, I wasn’t too incensed that they didn’t mention it in the dining contract. They already told us the figure via email ($10,130 or $11,512, depending on year), and you can find it in four seconds by searching wesleyan.edu for “residential fee.”
Yes, Weshop weekend hours are crappy. It’s nice that we can grab groceries on campus, but yes, that’s inconvenient. And earlier late night sucks, though our dining is still pretty flexible compared to some schools. And the Daniel Family Commons deal is fucking bizarre. Though, believe it or not, I don’t want your pity regarding my sophomore meal plan. Five buffet meals a week suits me fine.
And, while you’re busy bitching about how Bon Appétit is hiring all the dining staff back but not emphatically enough, I’m told that they were the only bidder that didn’t propose to cut staff. I’m with you on staying attentive and making sure they don’t try to pull a fast one, but this is not something we can criticize them about at this point.
It does make a big difference to me that they have a stated commitment to buying local, organic, and sustainably grown food – in their words, “socially responsible food sourcing.” While I don’t know the details yet, I’m willing to believe that they beat Aramark in that regard.
And they’re just starting. Who says they won’t listen to student feedback? In my experience feedback is better received when it’s not presented as an attack, but you know, we can do it from many angles. Over, sideways, and under on a magic carpet ride.
Anyway, whining is fine and dandy, you have a right to be negative. The thing is, as a widely read news source, Wesleying has the power to influence the tone of public discourse on whatever topic it addresses. So, when I read what I see as excessive, unnecessary negativity on Wesleying, it really frustrates me.
I HOPE that most students aren’t going into this year planning to hate Bon Appétit (because if you’re planning to, you will – anything involving cafeteria food is easy to hate).
Drawing out the negative is nothing new for media; on the contrary, it’s a long standing tradition. But what was Wesleying voted best of, again? That’s right… alternative media. We don’t have to buy into anything we don’t want to buy into. This is just my sensibility, but it would make me happy if, as a species, we could be a bit slower to point fingers and a little bit more open – open to recognizing positive intent, open to finding and addressing our own shortcomings, and willing to roll with changes and find positivity, instead of wedging ourselves into a cozy pit of cynicism.
You may have seen it chalked on the sidewalk – Make motherfucking LOVE not WAR. Believe it or not, it’s not just some kids in the White House who can make principle policy and policy reality. Try makin’ some love not war in your own life. It feels good. I mean, nothing beats some real good lovin’. Truly though. Who’s ready for a paradigm shift? We can do it.
Thanks for listening