UA Demands Official Statement On the State of Dining Reform

Last night, the Undergraduate Association demanded that the Division of Student Life release a statement describing its current work on dining reform and its plans for next semester.

The bill was drafted by five UA representatives on Sunday and was passed unanimously by the Senate last night. It states that Dining’s budget deficits are “significant” and that students need to be updated on the progress of dining reform.

Dean for Student Life Chris Colombo said on Monday that he is aware of the UA’s resolution on dining reform, but has not yet received a copy of the document and could not comment on it.

The bill calls for the statement to be released by the end of IAP 2010. Feedback, collected over a period of two weeks, will then be gathered from undergraduates and delivered to Colombo’s office.

According to Senate Speaker Paul Baranay ’11, the UA will try to get feedback from as many students in as many different living groups as possible. He said that the UA would try to collect statistics about student opinions as well as qualitative remarks.

The DSL would be expected to issue a revised position statement within two weeks after receiving the student feedback.

The resolution names the student body as “the major shareholder in the MIT Dining System” and notes that if changes are to come to Campus Dining next fall, these changes need to be decided on by spring. With the release of the Task Force report delayed and the UA Senate out of session until February, UA Senator Jonte D. Craighead ’13 said this resolution will help policy discussions continue through IAP.

Last October, Colombo said the Division of Student Life was waiting for the release of the Task Force report, then scheduled for late November, to make decisions regarding these proposals. The release of this Task Force report has since been delayed to the end of this term.

The Blue Ribbon Dining Committee and UA dining proposals were both released this spring. Regarding these proposals, Baranay said he hoped that the DSL would consider both reports when creating a formal position on dining.

“These reports will certainly be important to any discussion about dining,” Colombo said.