The Oberlin Review

Students, Testimonial Project Call for CDS Changes

Students, Testimonial Project Call for CDS Changes

May 11, 2018

Editor’s Note: The petition and the link to the testimonials mentioned in this article can be found in the Opinions section of The Oberlin Review. College students are circulating a petition calling on Oberlin’s administration to sever ties with the current dining management company, Bon Appétit, and switch to a self-managed system. The petition focuses on an array of problems with Bon Appétit, citing the company’s poor management, food waste, and safety issues. The petition, which has ...

Bon Appétit Falls Short on Promises, Disrespects Workers

Caitlin Kelley, Michael Kennedy, Eliza Guinn, Dylan Palmer, and Mirella Gruesser-Smith

May 11, 2018

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

Editors Note: The following letter is a petition for Oberlin College to terminate its contract with Bon Appétit and to hire its own managers to run CDS. At the bottom of the letter, there will be a link to the petition and a link to personal accounts of current and former CDS workers. All of us at Oberlin, whether we are students, professors, staff, or administrators, have the same goal: making Oberlin College the best it can be. But the management of Oberlin dining services is not the best it can be. We call on Oberlin to adopt self-management to properly manage Campus Dining Services, improve the dining experience, and reduce wasteful spending. WHAT IS SELF-MANAGEMENT? Oberlin College followed a national trend...

CDS Self-Management Would Improve Accountability, Sustainability

Michael Kennedy

May 11, 2018

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

From a student perspective, it appears that Oberlin College’s Campus Dining Services model has been failing. The closure of the Rathskeller as a meal option in spring of 2017, the limitation of meal options for the class of 2021, the upcoming closure of Dascomb Dining Hall, and the planned closure of DeCafé’s popular sandwich deli line all support this conclusion. I believe that students have legitimate reasons to be upset by dining changes, but they are not the ones most impacted by these decisions. As a result of the planned changes, employees will be losing their jobs, and many others are considering quitting rather than working at Stevenson Dining Hall. Both Bon Appétit Management Company and the College h...

Unionized Staff Cuts Follow Dascomb Closure

Unionized Staff Cuts Follow Dascomb Closure

April 13, 2018

Campus dining staff first learned of Dascomb Dining Hall’s impending closure at President Carmen Ambar’s respective financial presentation. Currently, 19 members of the United Auto Workers — the union that represents Campus Dining Services, custodial, and facilities staff — work in Dascomb, in addition to between 50 and 75 non-union, non-student workers. Although workers had expressed anxiety over what Dascomb’s closure would mean for their job security, it wasn’t until a week ago th...

Students, CDS Workers Protest Bon Appétit

Students, CDS Workers Protest Bon Appétit

May 5, 2017

Dining halls across campus were unusually empty Monday as hundreds boycotted Bon Appétit Management Company to stand in solidarity with Campus Dining Services staff. The protest, initiated by the Student Labor Action Coalition, aimed to push the College to separate from Bon Appétit and switch to a self-management food service model. According to United Auto Worker steward and CDS grill cook, counter cook and cashier Denise Capers, Stevenson and Dascomb Dining Halls normally serve 600–800 and 50...

Bon Voyage, Bon Appétit

Editorial Board

May 5, 2017

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

Chronic understaffing, overworked staff members, disgruntled employees and complaints about mismanagement. These are some of the issues that Campus Dining Service workers decried more than two years ago, as covered in the Review at the time (“CDS Workers: We’re Overworked, Disrespected,” The Oberlin Review, Oct. 2, 2015). And yet seemingly nothing was fixed in the last two years, as the same set of issues were the central focus of a campus protest Monday. In collaboration with CDS employees, Student Labor Action Coalition coordinated a boycott of dining halls. Members of the organization took to social media and other platforms to encourage students to eat in co-ops or join a picnic in Wilder Hall for...

SLAC Calls for Worker Self-Management in Dining Services

Jeeva Muhil, Eliza Guinn, Michael Kennedy, Student Labor Action Coalition

May 5, 2017

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: Broader Context: Since May Day is a national day of action for labor rights in the U.S., members of the Student Labor Action Coalition and other interested students chose May 1 to make a stand for workers’ rights on campus. We wanted to both make a statement on campus while also recognizing the increasing attacks on labor that have continued for decades. The Trump administration’s nomination of Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta and its targeting of immigrant and specifically non-white workers further emphasize the need for solidarity within the labor movement both in Northeastern Ohio and nationwide. Historically, the labor movement has privileged exclusively white men over the rest of the ...

Domesticated Animals Deserve Compassion

William Cramer, Contributing Writer

September 30, 2016

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS, Recent Stories

Editor’s note: This op-ed contains description of animal torture and slaughter. Bon Appétit, the company in charge of Oberlin’s Campus Dining Services, ceased buying pork raised in gestation crates in early 2016, according to their website. Gestation crates are used in many factory farms to confine a sow to lie her side, preventing her from moving. Companies often forcibly impregnate these sows in order to increase pork production. The pregnancy lasts around three months, after which her piglets are allowed to suckle until they are old enough to be slaughtered. Undercover PETA journalists have found that pigs are castrated, have the ends of their teeth removed with pliers and are then driven to the slaughterho...

CDS Implements Minor Changes after Media Frenzy

Harrison Wollman, Staff Writer

February 12, 2016

Filed under Campus News, NEWS

Little has changed for Campus Dining Services in the three months since representatives met with students from the South Asian, Vietnamese and Chinese student associations — except for the media attention, of course. Despite the national spotlight placed on Oberlin College, CDS and the student associations, Director of Business Operations and Dining Services Michele Gross seemed unfazed that her branch of Oberlin’s administration — which contracts the food service management company Bon Appétit — had found its way into the limelight. When asked to comment on the media coverage, Gross gave a tempered response. “My focus is on making sure we meet the varied needs of the community, and that we actively...

CDS Workers: We’re Overworked, Disrespected

CDS Workers: We’re Overworked, Disrespected

October 2, 2015

The Lord-Saunders Dining Hall did not open for dinner on Sunday night, and some stations in Stevenson Dining Hall went unfilled. While the closures may have been nothing more than a minor inconvenience for students, they point to larger problems: severe understaffing in Campus Dining Services and a general sense among some workers that Bon Appétit Management Company pushes them to the limit and does not give them enough respect. According to Director of Dining Services Michele Gross, CDS is...

Temporary CDS Workers to Receive Free Meals

Oliver Bok, Staff Writer

December 12, 2014

Filed under Campus News, Community News, NEWS

Campus Dining Services has decided to allow temporary workers to eat a meal following their shifts after a petition by the Student Labor Action Coalition asking CDS to change its staff meal policy garnered over 1000 signatures. “I need this week to communicate to the managers that work in four different [CDS locations] how this would work, and then we will implement [the new policy] right after that,” said Michele Gross, director of Dining Services, on Tuesday. “I think we’re going to have a test of it starting next week.” The old staff meal policy granted a meal to non- student workers who worked at least five hours per shift. In practice, the policy excluded temporary workers from receiving...

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