Amid continued opposition, dining vendors narrowed to three
The Evaluation Committee for the new House Dining program is currently looking at three vendors — Aramark, Sodexo, and Bon Appetit — for overseeing the new system. The Evaluation Committee is composed of students from all of the dorms with dining halls — Baker, McCormick, Next, Simmons, and the Phoenix Group. All three vendors already operate different aspects of dining at MIT.
As part of the evaluation, members of the committee have visited other universities in the Northeast and Midwest that operate with one of the three vendors under consideration, said Senior Associate Dean Henry J. Humphreys in an e-mail to dining dorm residents. Humphreys noted that the committee is looking at a variety of characteristics, including food quality and variety, financial stability, and the relationships between employees and the students at each campus.
The search comes amid continued opposition from students. The Undergraduate Association passed a bill on Feb. 28 calling for a referendum on the recommendations made by the House Dining Advisory Group. The referendum, planned to coincide with the UA Presidential, Vice Presidential, and Class Council elections, will ask students to rate their satisfaction with the dining plan to be implemented in the fall. It will additionally ask for students to rate the process that led to the dining plan.
A petition against the dining plan has also been circulating around McCormick since October. As of March 3, the petition has garnered more than 150 signatures — 60 percent of McCormick residents — collecting most of them since IAP. Roughly half of the signatories indicated they are considering moving out of McCormick because of the dining changes.
“We feel the administration has largely ignored our needs and concerns regarding this dining plan,” McCormick Senator Almas Abdulla ’14 said in an e-mail to Chancellor W. Eric L. Grimson PhD ’80 and Dean for Student Life Chris Colombo.
—Elijah Jordan Turner