Trinity Progressives and SOS suggest changes for Aramark

The Students Organized for Sustainability, a registered student organization dedicated to the promotion of environmental conscientiousness, is pushing for several changes to Aramark’s policies concerning food in Mabee. Aramark is the company that is contracted to produce food for Mabee.

Mitchel Hagney, president of S.O.S., wants several changes to the food at Mabee Dining Hall. Foremost among these changes is an increase in locally grown food served in Mabee.

Hagney noted that his primary priority is an increase in the amount of locally grown food used in Mabee, potentially to 10 percent of the total amount of food served at Mabee.

The Trinity Progressives support S.O.S. in their campaign to persuade Aramark to be sustainable.

Jacob Uzman, president of the Progressives, noted that there is room for improvement in the area of sustainability.

“There was a serious concern that Mabee and Aramark were not utilizing a lot of the sustainably and locally grown foods,” Uzman said.

He hopes to see Aramark broaden to encompass a variety of other sustainability elements.

While S.O.S has not yet formalized its list of demands, they plan to include increased sensitivity towards vegan and vegetarian lifestyles.

This inclusion stems from a concern that, while there has been some limited inclusion of vegan and vegetarian options in Mabee, overall the execution has been poor. Additionally, there is concern that Mabee makes several common religious dietary restrictions, such as the doctrines of halal and kosher, difficult to follow.

The Progressives would also like to see an increase in student involvement in the food selection process and for students to have more input on where Mabee’s food comes from. The final request involves ending Aramark’s catering monopoly for on-campus events.

Hagney and Uzman are confident that further negotiation with Aramark will allow for a resolution of the complaints mentioned above.

Uzman noted that Aramark has a history of listening to student input.

“In the past, Aramark has certainly reformed its ways to accommodate student complaints to an extent,” Uzman said.

Hagney made specific note of past pleasant experiences with Miguel Ardid, director of dining services, citing a composting initiative that Aramark undertook under the direction of Ardid.

The S.O.S hosted a meeting on Sept. 27 with campus cultural diversity leaders on the subject of increasing kosher and halal food options in on-campus eateries.