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Thursday, August 11, 2022
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SA Assembly Approves FSA Resolution


The Student Association Assembly unanimously passed a resolution aimed at improving the quality and affordability of campus dining Monday night, part of the assembly's Faculty Student Association Revisions Committee's mission to bring concerns to the FSA board of directors.

The 10-part resolution drafted by the committee asks the FSA to research vegan, kosher, organic and lower-fat meals, add a lunch to student meal plans and continue to cooperate with outside vendors to offer students more options "such as Krispy Kreme and Manhattan Bagels."

Keith Smith, chair of the FSA Revisions Committee, said the resolution was drafted after the results of the food service survey on the assembly's Web site were tallied and his committee met with FSA Director Mitch Green.

Assemblyman Adam Waitzman questioned FSA's ability to provide better quality food at lower prices when state law mandates SUNY institutions select food vendors by the lowest possible bidder.

"Right now . when a state organization or institution like SUNY does buy food, they have to do it by bid system," Smith said in response. "What [UB] can do is advertise the need for bids beyond the formal bid requirements."

Smith said that much of on-campus food prices go toward rent to the university for on-campus dining areas. Rent costs are currently $450,000 per year, which SA Vice President Joshua Korman said would increase next year to $750,000 per year.

Korman said the assembly should consider passing another resolution demanding that UB decrease the rent for FSA dining areas.

Smith said FSA charges the same amount for food as private restaurants, although restaurants provide higher quality food due to competition. Opening UB up to franchises would provide competition for FSA, said Smith, and contracting with food management companies such as Marriott and Sysco would improve food quality and prices.

In a previous interview with The Spectrum, Smith said Green explained that any changes could not be implemented until after next year, because FSA had already drafted its budget for 2002-2003.

Green said the committee had good ideas and was pleased with the presentation made by Smith and SA Assembly Speaker Jennifer Tuttle. He said FSA would research all of their proposals.

"Nothing [the committee proposed] seemed impossible to do," said Green. "If that's what students want, we will go out of our way to provide that to them."

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According to Smith, Green explained that dining areas with higher "traffic" than others require more staff and quicker production to keep up with the demand, which results in higher prices.

Sales also indicate that students tend to opt for unhealthy food choices when on the go.

"[FSA] sees what sells," said Smith, "and it's not always the healthy option."

According to Smith, FSA is currently working on creating a healthier and better quality "soup and salad bar" in the Student Club of the Ellicott Complex as well as Mexican food which is more like Mighty Taco rather than Taco Bell.

FSA also purchased a push-button "fool-proof coffee machine" for $12,000, capable of making hundreds of cups of "professional made" coffee per day.

"The amount the coffee machine will be used will pay itself off within the first few phases of operation," said Smith. "[FSA] even admitted those cappuccino makers on campus are just glorified hot chocolate makers."

Smith was confident that FSA would implement the proposed changes because the FSA board of directors currently consists of six members of SA, who are students and therefore sensitive to the proposed changes.

"We're attempting on working real close with the SA representatives to the board of directors because they're the people who make the ultimate decisions and make permanent lasting changes to day-to-day operations of FSA," said Smith.




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