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Anonymous fliers encourage boycott

Mandi Stirone | Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Monday morning Saint Mary’s students living on campus woke up to find small fliers that had been slid under their doors the night before. There were no names or groups identified as being responsible for the fliers.

The fliers called for students to take action against the Noble Family Dining Hall by boycotting dinner Tuesday night.

“Join with the rest of the student body to show your dissatisfaction. Eat at Cyber [Café] Dalloway’s [Coffee House] or order out,” the fliers said.

They compared the meal plan at Virginia Tech to the meal plan at Saint Mary’s, calling what the Dining Hall serves “fake meat,” as opposed to the “lobster and steak” the fliers said Virginia Tech supplies to its students.

Barry Bowles, General Manager of Sodexo at Saint Mary’s, said he was surprised to hear of the protest.

“I would expect they’d come talk to me,” he said. “Nobody’s really contacted me at all this year about major dissatisfactions.”

As to the fliers’ claim about Virginia Tech, the writers are making a comparison of “apples to oranges” Bowles said.

“I don’t think they’re comparing similar meal plans,” he said.

With the Virginia Tech meal plan, students pay for each individual food item instead of being guaranteed a certain number of meals a week, he said.

“They’re a state school and it’s a huge school, much larger than Notre Dame … [you’re] talking about state subsidized items,” he said.

Instead of boycotting the Dining Hall to show dissatisfaction, the students who are upset should approach him, Bowles said.

“Students would be much better served for the individuals to come and talk to me,” he said.

Before dinner, the Dining Hall did run out of co-exchange tickets for students to have a meal at Notre Dame, by 9 a.m., he said.

Sodexo wont be able to tell exactly how many students went to the Dining Hall last night until they get the weekly report on Friday, Bowles said.

In the Noble Family Dining Hall during the dinner hours, some students did decide to ignore the fliers and eat dinner in the Dining Hall.

“The reasoning for boycotting is not a valid reason,” sophomore Katie Brown said. “I don’t think the food’s horrible.”

Other students decided to go to dinner because they disagreed with the methods the people who created the fliers were using to be heard.

“I don’t think the students have taken into consideration the effects of boycotting,” sophomore Christina Posadas said. “Workers could be laid off.”

Others found issue with the flier’s anonymity and the information presented on the fliers.

“Virginia Tech is a bad example because it’s 38 thousand kids. It’s a huge state school,” junior Allie Greene said.

She added that she thinks the claims about “fake meat” were ridiculous.

“I’ve been here for three years, never once have I eaten fake meat,” she said.

Some students did opt to eat in Cyber Café as part of the boycott, however to protest the quality of the food offered in the Dining Hall.

“The food is not very appetizing and it seems like it’s repetitive,” junior Patricia Luna said.

Both the student body president and vice president, Mickey Gruscinski and Sarah Falvey respectively, decided to not follow the boycott as well.

“We should not be not using our tuition money,” Gruscinski said, “It’s already paid for.”

Falvey agreed, adding that student government wasn’t involved in the boycott.

“I don’t think visiting Sodexo-sponsored locations would be the best way to boycott,” she said.