Aramark responds to Senate menu proposal

by Beacon Staff • February 21, 2007

In response to student complaints abou the expense and quality of the required catering service when hosting on-campus events, the Senate created a student catering menu.,Emerson organizations using Aramark's catering service for on-campus events could soon have something else to party about, thanks to Emerson's student Senate.

In response to student complaints abou the expense and quality of the required catering service when hosting on-campus events, the Senate created a student catering menu. The new menu offers cheaper, more popular choices students can buy with ECCash, a major credit card or cash and is available until 1 a.m.

The old catering menu, from which students and organizations can still order, requires orders to be placed 7-10 days in advance, and charges an extra $25 on orders less than $50. The student menu allows orders to be placed at least a day in advance and has no minimum order, according to the menu, which is available at Emerson's website.

Students interviewed said the old catering menu, which is still available, was too expensive and too regimented.

"The people are nice but the stuff is incredibly overpriced," said Jackie Noblett, a senior print journalism major. Noblett has used Aramark catering several times for the Emerson chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

The Senate has been working since September to break what Andy Michaels, the Student Government Associated (SGA) vice president, called a "choke hold on campus." Michaels runs the Senate, a sub-group comprised of SGA members, dedicated to dealing with student complaints.

The Senate surveyed the concerns of students and organizations and found students balk at the high prices, inconsistent quality and limited choices of food.

They also compared Emerson's catering menu to those Aramark offers at other East Coast schools.

The New York University menu provided what the Senate considered to be desirable prices and choices.

Working mainly from this finding, the Senate put together a prototype menu proposal and sent it to Andrew Mahoney, Emerson's director of Auxiliary Services. The new menu was released a week later.

Michaels, a senior TV/Video major, said the new student catering menu addressed and surpassed the Senate's concerns.

"For the most part, the new menu is cheaper and better than the menu we proposed," he said.

"The new menu is definitely a good step for the college to take."

Michaels said food on the new menu will be more reasonably priced, but not of a lesser quality.

For example, a 16-inch pizza costs $7.75 on the new student catering menu, $1.50 less than on the old menu. Michaels said, "Basically, I think they're just marking [the food] up less."