The Oberlin Review

Administration Announces Campus Dining Changes Amid Budget Crisis

Administration Announces Campus Dining Changes Amid Budget Crisis

September 7, 2018

Campus Dining Services has undergone several recent changes that have restructured the way students can access food and use meal swipes. Wilder DeCafé, Lord-Saunders Dining Hall, and Azariah’s Café now all offer grab-and-go meal options. Stevenson Dining Hall, too, now offers quick, portable options outside of the main dining area. The Science Cart has been closed, but the Science Center is equipped with vending machines that offer coffee and snacks. Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo explained that the ...

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...

College Must Include Staff Input During Restructuring Process

Michael Kennedy

April 13, 2018

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

As co-chair and former treasurer of Oberlin’s Student Labor Action Coalition, I have met regularly with representatives from Oberlin’s United Auto Workers and Oberlin College Office and Professional Employees unions to learn about issues facing workers and college-union relations. Over the course of this school year, I have engaged in hours of conversations with many employees — from administrative assistants to Campus Dining Services workers to custodians. Every single discussion I have had with a staff member has greatly expanded my understanding of this institution and its faults. Ever since President Carmen Ambar announced to students that Dascomb Dining Hall was to close, I’ve been confronted with the questi...

Dascomb Staff Deserve Respect, Increased Transparency

Caitlin Kelley

April 6, 2018

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

I attended President Ambar’s talk on Feb. 28, 2018 in which she updated students on Oberlin’s financial situation and announced the closing of Dascomb Dining Hall. President Ambar addressed student concerns about food availability and quality of service on campus when Dascomb closes, but as a student, those are not my only concerns about the state of Campus Dining Services. As part of my work-study, I have washed dishes at Dascomb since the fall of my first year. I’m not a dishwasher because I couldn’t find a “better” job on campus; I wash dishes at Dascomb because I like to. Working with the Dascomb dining staff has honestly been one of the best experiences I’ve had at Oberlin. The staff at Dascomb a...

CDS Serves Up Sweet Food Skills Lessons

Julia Peterson, Arts & Culture Editor

March 30, 2018

Filed under ARTS, Food

As many college students know well, it can be difficult to cook for yourself while living in a dorm. This year, students can overcome this challenge by participating in Campus Dining Services’ series of informal classes and tastings. The primary purpose of these events isn’t to give intensive lessons or embark on especially challenging recipes — they’re meant to be a lighthearted, fun, delicious way to spend part of an afternoon learning about food. DeCafé Unit Manager Daron Frederick taught the fourth class in the series, “Cooking with Chocolate,” Wednesday afternoon at the Rathskeller. “We were looking for something fun to engage the students and to reach out and share our resources here at Oberlin...

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 ...

Student Input Necessary to Avoid Finger Pointing

Editorial Board

April 28, 2017

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

Following last week’s tuition hikes, the sentiment bears repeating: The administration needs to include students in conversations about major institutional decisions, financial or otherwise. The scenario played out much like similar situations often have in the past. Behind closed doors, administrators privately pivoted in favor of a 2.8-percent tuition hike and higher flat-rate housing and dining costs under the guise of “improving equity.” Students protested, organized events and held meetings about where to go from here as constituents in an institution without adequate representation. Administrators sent emails. And more emails. The justifications for these hikes have largely fallen flat on a student...

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