When it comes to students griping, there are few targets that get complained about more frequently than Campus Auxiliary Services (CAS). One of the most frequently talked-about issues is undoubtedly the price and quality of the food available on campus.
While the price of food is a real concern, students should realize that while there may be things that they do not like about CAS and the services it provides, there have been a number of positive changes that the organization has implemented recently, many of which came as a direct result of student requests.
One of the most visible of these changes is the switch to regular dining ware in Mary Jemison, as opposed to the disposable dishes that were previously used in the facility. This change came after a long effort by the Geneseo Environmental Organization to get CAS to make the switch. With the facility now using regular dining ware, hundreds of pounds of trash are saved everyday. CAS has also switched to the use of the environmentally friendly "Greenware" plastic cup for catering and take-out products.
The recent switch to completely trans fat-free frying oil, covered in the last issue of The Lamron, is another positive change that the organization has made in response to student input. Students' health is greatly affected by what they eat, and this conscientious choice by CAS to make the switch shows they're listening to students and are making more healthy options available. There are fewer fried foods in the Geneseo University Store (GUS), and more and more soy and organic food options are being added to menus. The addition of Hershey's ice cream (although not quite as healthy) in GUS was also made after hearing students' desire for it at the Spring 2006 Food Expo. Next semester will also see the addition of a number of new food options in many locations across campus.
Last year, CAS also made the decision to switch to serving only fair trade coffee. This move was another good one, as it assured that all the coffee on campus would be produced by farmers who are assured a fair price for their product. The change, which did result is slightly higher coffee prices, was certainly the right socially-conscious move.
Renovations that the organization has made to dining facilities, specifically the addition of the Millennium Market, have also been positive in that more food options are now available to students without the need to pay the full price for a meal upstairs in Letchworth. The increase in the size of GUS and the addition of a sushi bar and more food offerings are also reflective of the organization's conscious effort to cater to what students want.
Frequently, CAS is subjected to criticism largely because people simply enjoy having something to whine about. While the unhappiness that stems from food prices is understandable, students should realize that many of these recent changes have come about as a direct result of student feedback, and that many more are on the way. Suggestion boxes are numerous, and students should make use of them. So before your next complaint about how terrible the food situation is - take a look at what CAS has done, and plans to do, in order to give students the things that they want. CAS is listening - so take advantage.