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Students want more than Lackmann’s spare change

By Julie Rafatpanah SPECIAL TO THE CHRONICLE

Lackmann Culinary Services has been Hofstra University’s food service provider since 1992, making Lackmann’s relationship with Hofstra older than the majority of its current students.

For years, students have voiced their complaints about Lackmann, only for Lackmann’s contract to be extended again and again. By continually extending Lackmann’s contract, Hofstra is hurting both its students and its reputation.

Lackmann Culinary Services cares only about profit and extending its contract. Lackmann’s recent miniscule decrease in pricing was a public relations scramble on their part to try to save face and maintain a contract with Hofstra under mounting student opposition.

The five percent decrease in pricing is laughable and does not come close to solving Hofstra’s dining services problem. It does not make up for mold on food and the numerous other health code violations that Hofstra’s students face.

Lackmann’s new pricing is an insulting reminder of the fact that students are supporting a company that aims to suppress our dissatisfaction just enough so that it can continue to conduct business as usual.

What Hofstra administrators do not realize is that their relationship with Lackmann is bringing down our University.

The continuation of Lackmann’s contract gives students the impression that the University does not care about how we feel or what we have to say, breeding a pervasive feeling of mistrust and resentment.

There is a gap in communication between Hofstra students and Hofstra administrators, and that gap leaves the administration unaware of how terrible our dining system really is.

Students have been told to address all complaints to Lackmann when in reality, Lackmann does not value students in the same way that Hofstra administrators do. Students need to be communicating directly with Hofstra administrators like Joseph Barkwill who decide whether Lackmann stays or goes.

Unfortunately, even if students do know whom to confront with their complaints regarding Lackmann’s contract, most are so demoralized by Lackmann’s lack of change that they feel that speaking up, even to Hofstra administration directly, will not make any difference.

Some may call a complete overhaul of Hofstra’s dining services an unwise idea, but the truly unwise choice in this situation is to perpetuate a system that is both exploitative to and hated by students.

At this point, the Lackmann name is so tarnished that any “reforms” made by the company would automatically be suspect.

Lackmann Culinary Services has profited off of Hofstra students for long enough.

Determining a new dining system will be a difficult task, but it is a necessary one. Hofstra must  keep the student body informed of their decision-making process and continually ask for input. But above all, students must continue to make their voices heard in order to better our university.

The views and opinions expressed in the Op-Ed section are those of the authors of the articles. They are not an endorsement of the views of The Chronicle or its staff. The Chronicle does not discriminate based on the opinions of the authors. 

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