Letter to the Editor: University’s open ears, eyes, mouth deserve credit

I can’t help but wonder if Safe-water M. Brosks ever ate at Barn-yard Chicken.

Brosks wrote a letter to the editor (“Chihuahua, Colonel poor substitutes for Barnyard,” Feb. 8) claiming the Curry Student Center’s switch from Barnyard Chicken to Taco Bell represents the death of the American small business. Unfortunately, that’s just not how it works.

Chartwells Educational Dining Services has a nearly exclusive contract to food services on campus. They control the dining halls, catering and a good portion of the Curry Student Center and other food venues on campus (the only exception being Dosa Hut). The change being made here is that instead of operating a Barnyard Chicken franchise, Chartwells will replace it with a Taco Bell Express franchise.

Chartwells is owned by Compass Group North America, a corporation that posted revenues of $23.5 billion last year and employs 400,000 people, according to its Web site. In fact, at my co-op job here in Skillman, New Jersey, a division of Compass also runs our company cafeteria. Instead of lamenting this change as the death of yet another small mom-and-pop operation, students should be applauding that the university is doing something it does so rarely: accepting input from the students who pay to go to school here.

Instead of criticizing the university for trying to oust the little guy (which, in this case, it isn’t), we should be congratulating SGA Vice President for Student Service Rogan O’Handley and the Student Center Governing Board, as well as university administration and Chartwells for being so reactive to student input.

– Grant Oberg is a middler supply chain management major.

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