Student-Run Dining Shows Great Effort
The Baker House Dining Committee should be congratulated for taking the initiative to provide quality on-campus food service. Many students have hungered for a way to prove there is a better way than ARA. At Baker, they have come forward with this proof, demonstrating that students can provide a workable alternative, at least on a small scale.
Under ARA, Baker was losing $10,000 a month last year which was covered by MIT. Because the Institute refused to continue making up for the losses past July 1, ARA seemed poised to fold up dining services at Baker. The residents of Baker felt otherwise, and decided they deserved better treatment. The student committee is now running the dining hall which opened last week.
Thanks to the efforts of students, Baker Dining stands ready to deal with the real concerns of customers. The revamped dining hall features vegetarian options, different meal sizes, and student-friendly schedules. Most importantly, the student committee has promised to pay more attention to student comments and complaints. Hopefully this will allow them to provide the flexibility always denied by the ARA bureaucracy.
The initiative being taken at the Baker House dining hall affects all students at MIT who will use food services on campus. A successful Baker dining hall will serve as a model for student empowerment and will hopefully encourage other such operations. If nothing else, perhaps it will give ARA the signal that students demand and are willing to work for better services. For this reason, any increase in student empowerment deserves the support of all members of the MIT community.