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Students Disturbed By Aramark Firing

By A. Arif Husain
Associate News Editor

In the midst of campus-wide restructuring and reorganization of food services, the recent layoff of an Aramark employee has been looked upon with contempt from many students.

Eddie Cogliano, former manager of the MacGregor House convenience store, Next House dining hall, and Fast Eddie's convenience store in Tang Hall was given notice of termination about two weeks ago. Yesterday was his last day on duty.

The decision to fire Cogliano was made by Aramark General Manager Robert McBurney for "financial reasons." The change will help provide better services at a reduced cost, McBurney said.

"I'm responsible for making the tough daily managing decisions based on the needs of the business. Some of those decisions are very tough, and this is one of those decisions," McBurney said.

Cogliano had been removed from Fast Eddie's and Next at the end of last year, and was recently responsible for MacGregor only.

His affiliation with the store began two years ago when Cogliano founded it following the closing of MacGregor's dining hall.

The store will continue to be operated by student manager Jos A. Valdovinos '96, who is a resident of MacGregor. Valdovinos will be responsible for all financial functions for the store, McBurney said.

The task of ordering products for the store will be taken over by Baker's Aramark-employed manager Phil Hatchouel. Kathy Richmond, another employee now managing Next, will have "oversight of all the house operations," McBurney said.

Associate Director of Food Services John T. McNeill had "very strong feelings" about McBurney's decision, but said that food services does not have license to contest it.

"Until it affects service, we can have no say in how [Aramark] hires or fires, no matter what our feelings happen to be," he said.

McNeill said his major concern is that "business continues as usual."

Students react to firing

In response to Aramark's decision to fire Cogliano, two students, Baker House Dining Committee Chair Albert L. Hsu '96 and Next House resident Brian A. D'Amato '96, drafted a report to the Office of Housing and Food Services regarding what they felt was wrongdoing.

The report cited the MacGregor convenience store as one of only four Aramark operations which yield a profit, and credited Cogliano with the store's success.

D'Amato was given access to Aramark's financial records which he used to base the specifics of the report.

According to the report, the convenience store presently sells $10,000 per month, and profited $30,000 for Aramark last year.

D'Amato and Hsu argue that without Cogliano's receptivity to student input, such profits could not have been achieved.

"[Cogliano] was easily the most responsive Aramark employee to students," Hsu said.

Furthermore, Cogliano had a stake in the maintenance of Baker's dining hall, and influenced many renovations in Pritchett Lounge on East Campus, the report said.

Cogliano unfairly treated

D'Amato and Hsu said that given his contributions, Cogliano was unfairly laid off and was mistreated. Their report claims that Cogliano was offered a lower position job at Networks in the Student Center, which he attempted to accept, but was told that the spot had been filled.

According to the report, "there never was a position available. Aramark flat out lied."

Similar discontent with Aramark's decision is being voiced by MacGregor House officers who feel Cogliano was influential in student needs.

"He really took an interest in what students wanted and I think that he really cared," said MacGregor President Anand R. Radhakrishnan 96. Cogliano had spoken at a recent town meeting in MacGregor, which was called to discuss the possible reopening of its dining hall.

"He seemed very positive about the dorm as a whole," Radhakrishnan said.

Changes add student jobs

McBurney said the recent changes in management would have little effect on customers, and prices in the convenience store would remain the same.

Instead, he foresees more student positions available. MacGregor Convenience is "100 percent student-run," as well as Pritchett Lounge, and Next House employs a large number of students, McBurney said.

Many student positions all over campus are becoming available, he said.