This post was written by Hatchet reporter Laura Whaling.
Sixteen members of the Progressive Student Union marched to Rice Hall Thursday afternoon to deliver a petition demanding changes to GW’s current campus dining plan.
The petition, which had 600 signatures, included demands for an increase in student involvement in the decision-making process behind campus dining choices, more sustainable food and maintaining current employee contracts. Both students and J Street employees signed the petition.
GW’s contract with Sodexo, who provides dining services like J Street to the University, will expire at the end of the year.
Ross Berry, the president of PSU, said the group was going to ask the desk receptionist in Rice Hall – where most administrator offices are housed – to speak to Senior Associate Vice President of Operations Alicia Knight, but said it was unlikely they would meet with her.
Two weeks ago, PSU started the petition asking the University for more input on campus dining options, a daily swipe-system and more sustainable food options. The petition also asked GW to keep all current workers and increase workers’ rights after Sodexo said it would fire two workers in the winter.
Before entering the building, the group posed for a photo, and on Berry’s order of “fists to the sky,” they raised their arms.
Berry said that after being told that the students would not be able to meet with Knight or University President Steven Knapp, Berry handed the petition to the receptionist and said the PSU will give officials one week to respond to their demands.
Berry addressed the students after dropping off the petition, telling them their involvement was helpful in the “year-long process” of changing campus dining.
“We can’t emphasize enough that students and workers be heard in this process,” Berry said.