UA Calls for Dissolution of Blue Ribbon Dining Committee

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The Undergraduate Association’s Executive Board led a discussion about the future of dining at MIT during an emergency UA Senate meeting the evening of Monday, Feb. 16.
Seth A. vILLARREAL—The Tech

The Undergraduate Association Senate passed a bill Monday calling for the dissolution of the Blue Ribbon Committee on Dining and the creation of a UA-chosen replacement committee comprised of students, faculty, and staff which would give students more say in the decision-making process. The bill also demands that plans described in the leaked consultant’s report to the Blue Ribbon committee be scrapped.

According to the bill, the leaked recommendations contradict the results from a survey of MIT conducted by the committee in Spring 2008, which the bill says shows “opposition among students to mandatory dining plans.” Part of the bill demands that “participation in an undergraduate dining system not be mandatory.”

The UA plans to use the data already collected by the survey to come up with new recommendations for undergraduate dining. The proposed committee would devise new recommendations by June 2009. In response to skepticism about the proposed committee’s ability to finish what has so far been a two-year process in a few months, UA Vice President Michael A. Bennie ’10 said, “we have the data so that’s nine months of the process.”

The bill demands the current dining committee be dissolved largely in order to “give the chair of the committee to the students,” said UA president Noah S. Jessop ’09. “If the Blue Ribbon Committee is able to reform itself to fit this plan, I would be delighted to let it do so,” Jessop said.

The exact structure of the proposed committee has not yet been determined, but the UA would want to include students from a broad spectrum of living and dining situations.