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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

The Brandeis Brief

Published: December 5, 2008
Section: News

Union Senate passes food sustainability resolution

The Coalition for Food Services Reform has written a list of recommendations that they will bring to Aramark and the university administration on ways to improve infrastructure sustainability, food sustainability, financial transparency and labor conditions.

For infrastructure sustainability, the committee recommended that Dining Services use only reusable or recyclable utensils and that Dining Services reduce its packaging waste by buying in bulk whenever possible.

The committee also recommended that Dining Services increase its fair trade purchases, especially in the case of coffee and green tea.

For food sustainability, the committee acknowledged that it would be fiscally irresponsible for Dining Services to change which products it buys without an assurance that students will purchase it. Therefore, the committee recommended that students be conscious consumers and attempt to purchase local products as much as possible.

In financial transparency, the committee recommended that a meal plan should not cost more than 110% of the price one would pay if they paid for every meal in cash. Also, the committee asked that multiple meals be allowed to be used in a given meal time, allowing students to use one meal at 11:30 a.m. and again at 3:00 p.m.

For labor conditions, the committee asked that dining services workers be given seniority when choosing hours.

–Ariel Wittenberg

Money for CA hall programs unfrozen

Funding for hall programs from the Department of Residential Life was frozen only to be reinstated before the Thanksgiving holiday break. The freeze, which came at a time when many departments are revaluating priorities, will now be replaced by more stringent rules for Community Advisors (CAs) to obtain funding.

“We will need to more clearly review funding requests this year to ensure we are making the best use of our money while operating in a reduced budgetary environment,” Interim Co-Director of Residence Life Jeremy Leiferman explained. “We need to use our money smartly.”

As part of the new process for receiving funding for hall programs, CAs must plan events and submit proposals for funding earlier, according to Interim Co-Director of Residence Life Dean Gendron. “The funds that CAs have available to them … will be subject to an increased volume of consideration prior to approval,” Gendron said.

Indeed, CA Mina Kim ’11 acknowledged that the additional rules pose “a little more work for us.” Nevertheless, she feels that the temporary freeze was a good way to reevaluate spending.

Gendron also made clear that no funding proposals had been rejected due to either the freeze or the increased planning required for events. “We will continue to honor the spirit of our department’s mission while also honoring our responsibility to the University’s need for fiscal balance.”

–Alex Schneider