Opinion

An Open Letter to President Bierman And The Food Task Force

By Beloit Solidarity

Beloit College’s food service is unique in that it is self-operated. This system, where students and community members work together, has created invaluable relationships. As a school that celebrates diversity, independence, and creativity, we should embrace and take pride in this difference.

We are aware that a Food Task Force has been assigned to begin dialogue to reevaluate our food system in order to “[align our] food service programs at Beloit College with student, family, and community expectations.” In response to this open invitation for dialogue, we would like to offer some of our expectations and concerns.

Our college mission statement calls for “public contribution in a diverse society… the integration of knowledge with experience, and close collaboration among peers, professors, and staff.”  These tenets extend beyond the classroom and any potential change to our food service should reflect them.

“If changes are to occur within our food service, we expect that the job security of current workers will be Beloit College’s top priority.”

While we recognize that there is a desire within the student body for more sustainable and ethical food, we firmly believe that our first responsibility is to our community. We must hold ourselves accountable to the people who prepare the food that we eat every day.

Beloit College stresses overcoming the “Beloit Bubble” to create connections with local community. Though frequently overlooked, our food service staff is among the strongest ties we have with the community.  The full time staff of Beloit College’s food service has become a support system for many students on campus. Jeopardizing the livelihoods of staff members and their families is unacceptable. If changes are to occur within our food service, we expect that the job security of current workers will be Beloit College’s top priority.

While we are fully supportive of expanding and improving Beloit’s food to be more sustainable and ethical, that progress cannot be done at the expense of our workers. If job security is not guaranteed, we will continue to actively stand with our staff who have been a vital part of our community for so many years.

Signed,
Beloit Solidarity

Beloit Solidarity is an autonomous organization founded in Spring 2011 in response
to state and worldwide social movements. We exist to provide students a voice to
approach issues of social justice and to build community.  For more information,
please contact beloitsolidarity@gmail.com.

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