If you eat in Usdan you’ve probably¬† seen this sign:

It’s funny that Aramark thinks they can appeal to students by framing their food as the hippie, liberal alternative.¬† The sign makes it clear that Aramark exec’s like Director of Dining Operations, Michael Newmark, don’t understand our perspective. If they did, they would have signs and matereials that would market healthy food in a respectful way.

If you look at it from Aramark’s point of view, offering cage-free eggs is a great idea because it is a low cost gimmick that will make students slightly more likely to think that they are socially conscious. After all, they have done close to nothing to improve the dining halls in the past couple years.¬† Of course, making significant investments in dining services at Brandeis more often than they need to in order to keep Brandeis students from complaining about them, would be a waste, because they don’t really care how happy we are, as long as they don’t lose money.

But, you say, that’s not true, they really do care about our concerns because they brought Quiznos and it’s a lot better than everything else in Usdan.

Hm, why would Aramark do such a nice thing for us?

Perhaps because their contract is ending after May 2009.

Oh, okay, so this means that we can get another dining service starting in the fall if we want right?

Not so fast. In order for us to get a new dining services contractor, Brandeis would need to put out a Request For Proposal (RFP) to companies that would be interested in making our food. Companies would then write up estimates of how much they would charge to provide us with dining services and Brandeis would be able to choose to hire a new contractor or make another contract with Aramark. Up to this point nobody has heard anything about Brandeis sending out an RFP. Why not? My theory is that it has something to do with the fact that Joseph Neubauer is the CEO of Aramark, and his wife, Jeanette Lerman is on the Board of Trustees of Brandeis.

What a coincidence.