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Volume 70, Issue 46, Tuesday, October 26, 2004


Staff Editorial


                            Matt Dulin                             Tony Hernandez 
                Jim Parsons             Dusti Rhodes           Richard Whitrock

Forum, like free food, shouldn't be passed up

On Wednesday, students will have a chance to voice their opinions on something near and dear to their hearts -- or, perhaps more accurately, their stomachs.

No student is without some criticism of the campus food service, and this has never been otherwise. The University's current food service provider, Chartwells, has its faults, but also has done a lot of things to suit students' varying demands. 

For those who don't know, Chartwells is responsible for all of the campus's eateries, c-stores, most of its vending machines, concessions at sporting events and Universitywide catering. They decide what gets sold, how much it sells for and when its services will be offered. So criticism can run the gamut from prices to hours to variety of offerings.

A forum at 10 a.m. Wednesday in the UC's San Jacinto Room will feature representatives from Sodexho, who will likely do anything they can do make their service look better than the status quo. It's the first of many forums to introduce prospective providers to the campus and our needs.

This is the first time the University asked companies interested in bidding to sit down in a forum with the campus and take questions and comments from the campus. Before, companies interested in expanding to UH were allowed to visit and talk to students, but not required to.

The decision to renew Chartwells' contract or seek a new provider, like Sodexho, lies with the Board of Regents, but the input gathered at these meetings will be vital to improving food services on campus.

If students don't take opportunities like these, they shouldn't complain later on when the Starbucks isn't open as late they'd like or if they think there should be more vegetarian options. 

We urge students to attend the forum and speak up about their preferences. We also encourage them to be involved throughout the entire process, as more companies visit. They'll be doing their stomachs, and the University, a favor.

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