Temple Student Government is rightfully disappointed that none of its members were invited to take part in transition talks with Aramark, the new food service provider that is replacing Sodexo effective this May.
The Board of Trustees approved the switch in October and the university has been in contract and transition talks since then.
TSG representatives want a seat at the table because “we’re the ones that are going to end up using the services,” Student Body President Aron Cowen said.
That’s only fair. What good is student representation if they can’t fully represent students?
Aaron Weckstein, another TSG member, said he wants to make sure ongoing sustainability commitments — like composting discarded food and using locally sourced ingredients — are continued under the new food provider.
Michael Scales, associate vice president of business services, cautioned that students might be given proprietary information if they were present for the negotiations. The university and Aramark are trying to involve students in other ways, like surveying students and holding separate meetings with TSG.
The university is also planning to restart the food service committee, a group of students who met to give feedback to the food service provider on behalf of the student body.
We’d like to stress the importance of keeping students involved in decisions about what they will eat. The best way to satisfy student concerns about sustainability and affordability is to involve students in the decisionmaking process as much as possible.