Ok, While I seriously, seriously need to get some work done, two comments:
Aramark was “bad’ less because the food was bad and mostly because it chose specifically to ignore student wants. I think, in all fairness, if they listened to student concerns (“Hey, can dinner be longer?Can we have something to eat on the weekends, please? Can we have vegetarian options? Can you label your foods so I know which ones have peanuts in them so I don’t die? Kthnx.”) we probably wouldn’t have outed them. While I think people had the right to complain about quality, I think the bigger concern was people were asking for tiny changes that Aramark just could not put in place. It said it would and just never delivered.
BA is sort of responding to complaints with: “OH, but we are doing this!” when they’re not which in my opinion is unfair. They tell us they’re paying the workers well and that the food costs are the same as the previous years. If they write it down, they think, then that’s solved the problem.
The problem is with Wesleyan’s administration when it comes to student issues; they might work with you on problems, but they’re not going to work very hard. I can tell you I’ve had issues with financial aid, reslife, etc, (actually not with the registrar ever, though) where it would be just an issue of reading a website or reading an email and they still wouldn’t do it. They’d skim it, misinterpret it and and spit you out an answer that was unhelpful or basically them giving up on the problem and then smile as they absolve themselves of your issue. There is absolutely no accountability and incompetence is never punished. It’s fairly obvious to me in the three + years I’ve been here that they don’t take student concerns very seriously. They treat us like ignorant babies and wait for a parent to call in to fix the problem. As an independent person, this approach has infuriated me in ways you would not believe.
So BA’s approach is to tell Dean Rick that all is well and Dean Rick says, “Kids, shut up. Everything’s fine.” Then he sends out an email to your parents saying, “Your kids are babies. They can stagger their lunches and you can help them learn to budget their points with this menu guide we made for you.” So there’s no actual investigation into how students are eating if they’re eating. No one is seeing if upperclassmen are eating at Usdan at all. No one is seeing if their grand plan to merge two huge buildings into one has worked. No real investigation into how labor is being treated (because despite what the WSA may say in our comments, I and others actually *talk* to the workers and they’re still not happy.) No, the tactic is to tell us to shut up and that everything’s fine.
The school assigns the WSA to seeing about worker’s rights. While I appreciate that the WSA does have a legitimate role to play in the issue, none of them are experts in labor relations. Secondly, the school recognizes that few students actually address the WSA with their concerns, so using it as the only channel they will listen to serves this greater purpose of ignoring student problems.
I think if you can stomach the idea of talking to the WSA, you should. I can tell you the administration will listen to a WSA-backed response probably better than your own. But like I said, even better than the WSA are your parents and prospective parents. Wesleyan insists on treating us like babies and waiting for an adult to vocalize their anger. That is what usually works. I hate it. It pisses me off. But usually that’s what gets their attention more than anything.