By Sean Wetselaar
Following a student uproar over the cost and quality of food on campus, Ryerson University has announced that they will be ushering in a new food services provider on campus.
“Chartwells is considered to be the industry leader in Canada in education food services, serving more than 1,000 public and private schools, colleges and universities,” said Julia Hanigsberg, vice president administration and finance, in her open letter to the campus. The letter was titled “A new era of food at Ryerson.”
The open letter promises 25 per cent of food on campus will be “sustainable, local products” with focus on healthier, Ontario-grown food and more diverse options.
According to Hanisberg a team of two students along with Ryerson faculty and staff considered three other food providers before deciding on Chartwells. “Our objective was to deliver what campus said they wanted,” said Hanigsberg.
But, student representatives are critical of a decision to continue to contract a private organization, rather than a not-for-profit model pushed for by the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU).
“We just did some research on Chartwells and see that it exists on a lot of other campuses, and students are having all the same complaints that we had with Aramark,” said Rajean Hoilett, vice president equity with the RSU. “Our worry is, when we’re privatizing food on campus, what are the repercussions that that has for students?”
Hoilett said the RSU was not included in talks prior to the announcement, but that he hopes they will be involved in finalizing the move.
Hanigsberg told The Eyeopener that the three-year contract has not been finalized yet.
Chartwells was not available for comment at the time of the announcement.
Updated on August 7, 2013.