HENDERSON: Dear Aramark …

Dear Grambling State University,

I will say, in a heartbeat, that I have been here for five years, and the quality of food and service in the cafeteria has stayed the same: intolerable. Our tiger bucks go so fast because students don’t look forward to eating from the stagnant menu this institution allows.

This is an HBCU, and for some reason I feel like I shouldn’t expect raisins in my collard greens, and somehow, y’all still managed to catch us off guard with macaroni and cheese hot dogs you had the audacity to serve Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018.
To be honest, the on-campus meal plan is not worth the increase students are being charged. Food services provided through Aramark ARE NOT worth nearly $2,000. If students on campus are going to be paying that much, the quality of the food should increase and so should the amount of tiger bucks we’re given.

In terms of finances, this school is already seen as selfish, and being so at the expense of the health of the student body is flat out wrong. Using the services of a corporation with a scandalous reputation and ignoring such information is irresponsible on the schools’ part. Aramark has lost contracts with several universities in the United States. In 2017, the University of Houston terminated their contract nearly five years before it was set to expire. The University of Virginia also expressed discontent with their food service as well as Aramark’s involvement in the for-profit prison industry.
This year, Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina cut their contract short with the corporation, and Grambling State University should add itself to that list. Even the sick and elderly aren’t pleased.

Residents at the Willow Point Nursing Home in Broome County, NY also cut ties with Aramark this year.
Prison riots have reportedly been started due to, again, the quality of the food, serving prisoners inadequate portions lacking in proper nutrition, and get this; Aramark employees were accused of serving garbage to inmates. I know they’re inmates but d**n, they are still human and they still have rights. But I digress. We’ll come back to that another time :).  

If this is something that the university won’t handle, at least give us healthier options and make the quality of the food consistent. I loathe having to walk into the cafeteria wondering if the pasta will be too soft today, or if pork is on the menu for the fourth day in a row.

Why is the fruit never ready to eat? And where do all the grapes, strawberries, and pineapples go? The cantaloupe and honeydew stay solid and unsweet. Who are you guys making 100 wraps for? We like wraps and fresh fruit too! A lot of us come from areas where fresh food and healthy lifestyles are the norm, and leaving that for this is almost enough to make students look at other universities.

Just say you don’t care about the vegetarians and vegans on campus. You’ll save time and money if you cut out the nonsense you put forth as veg-friendly.
 As students, we put the most money into the university. There wouldn’t be a Grambling State University without us, and let us not forget, it wasn’t that long ago this school faced problems with admission.

Give us our money’s worth, or don’t increase the cost of our meal plans, and actually decrease the cost of our meal plans. No one should have to ask for better food at such cost, but since that is a struggle, pick one. 

– Keniae Henderson is a senior mass communication major from Los Angeles.