I would like to preface this piece of writing by stating I am not in any way associated with Aramark. In fact, I rarely even use their services. Aside from grabbing a coffee from Tim Horton’s, I may use the food services on campus about once a month.
I’ve been at Laurentian for seven years. Make your Van Wilder jokes. I’m part way through a masters’ degree, and have lived on campus for the majority of those seven years. Back in my first year when every class began at 8:30am and we had to walk there through eight feet of snow going up hill both ways, the cafeteria also sucked… and no one really complained about it.
I hear so many complaints these days. Seven years ago it was cheap, frozen French fries, frozen burgers, cardboard chicken burgers, pizza, some premade sandwiches that a trucker wouldn’t eat and pitas. That was pretty much it. No Starbucks to pay six dollars a coffee at. No Subway or Toppers to offer real franchise quality. Certainly no fresh French fries from a company that buys their potatoes locally and frys them fresh. And no one complained – mind you, these were days before Umentioned.
‘Oh but it wasn’t mandatory in those days!’ you might say. Well guess what, Huntington and University of Sudbury both have a ton of available rooms. And guess what, they both have great kitchen facilities (and no mandatory meal plans).
The complaints I see are ridiculous. So you found some under-cooked meat in your food. Maybe instead of posting a picture of it on Facebook, do like you do at any other eating establishment and find a manager and fix the problem. If someone is cooking 200 pounds of ground beef in a day with a lineup of impatient students, some might get undercooked. It happens at restaurants and I’m sure it’s happened in your kitchen before too. A piece of plastic in your food? You’re telling me you’ve never found a severed piece of packaging in your food before? Finally, a fly? Do you really think Aramark goes out of its way to order flies with their food? Or perhaps maybe the door is open and it flew in from outside, completely out of their control.
The funniest part about all this: It’s all you can eat. Go back and get five new plates of food if you wish.
The T-Rex though, complain about that for sure. I do not support Aramark allowing T-Rexs in their food.
Do I agree with everything Aramark does? Of course not. As someone who has had a lifelong struggle with their weight, I hate the fact that the easiest and most economical way to eat on campus is buffet style. They are doing their best to provide healthy options, but it’s like putting a meth-addict in a room full of meth and saying “there’s some gum in the corner, just have that.” But why go to Subway and pay 12 dollars for a foot-long when I can get all you can eat for less?
I’m not one to say that a home cooked meal is the be all and end all (after all, I do consume over two-thirds of my calories from Soylent… look it up), but I do think university is a place for learning. I do not agree that the meal plan is mandatory for anyone. The fact that someone could come out of university in their mid 20’s and not know how to make anything that’s not from a can or freezer frightens me.
Look, I get it. It’s cool to hate on Aramark. But realistically the quality of food we have here is pretty good. Everyone is screaming for a new provider but who’s to say they’ll be any better? If I had a vote, I’ll go for the devil I know, and the devil that’s completely revamped it’s food services into something completely on par with every other comparable university.
By Rylan Stolar, Laurentian University graduate student
Please send all inquiries and opinion pieces to: firstname.lastname@example.org.