Taco Bell’s contract debated
The removal of Taco Bell’s kiosk in Hutchinson Commons is currently under consideration. Cheryl Gutman, associate dean of students for housing and dining, and Bill Michel, deputy dean of students, will meet today with Daniel Lichtenstein-Boris, a second-year in the College and the leader of the Anti-Sweatshop Coalition (ASC).
Because Taco Bell’s agreement with Aramark extends until June 2003, any decision would not take effect until the end of the academic year.”I hope we have a better understanding of the issues in the next few months,” said vice-president and dean of students in the University Stephen Klass.
“There is the political issue of Taco Bell’s worker policies. The students have been very articulate on this subject,” Klass said. “Then there is a large set of students that are very satisfied with the prices and the convenience of Taco Bell. Those students vote with their feet, and business has been good.”
Gutman agreed, saying that the pace of this year’s business at Taco Bell matches the pace of last year’s business. “Students clearly are still using Taco Bell,” she said.
Many student groups have endorsed the ASC’s position on the Taco Bell kiosk in the Hutch. For example, the Inter-House Council passed a resolution endorsing the removal of Taco Bell if another option equally as inexpensive and convenient could be found.
Klass also emphasized the gravity of any legal entanglements that might occur if Aramark, the University’s food service provider, attempted to prematurely end its contract with Taco Bell.
Gutman said that the decision-making process would also be influenced by the annual internal audit of campus food service. The audit is designed to determine how the University food service could be improved as far as what kind of services, hours, and locations need to be added or improved.
This year’s audit will be more formal than in past years. “We will use accepted marketing techniques such as surveys and focus groups, which help us get a sense of the new currents in the student body” Gutman said.
Boot The Bell is trying to convince the University administration that Taco Bell needs to be removed from Hutchinson Commons because of Taco Bell’s repeated exploitation of their Latino and Haitian tomato farmers in Florida.
Boot the Bell claims in their statement that the administration purposely deceived the protesters by demanding certain requirements to show that the student body is behind the protest. Once those goals had been reached, however, the University added that Taco Bell’s sales must be significantly affected, said Boot the Bell in their Public Statement.
Inside Edition will air U of C show
An Inside Edition special on the making of a University of Chicago calendar will air this Wednesday at 3 p.m. on WLS-TV, an ABC affiliate. The special, filmed last Monday, documents the creation of a calendar featuring 12 University students. The audition judges, whose aim was to find photogenic and well-rounded students, considered candidates’ GPAs, extracurricular activities, and a demonstrated talent in addition to their physical appearance.
The Chicago producers, who were looking to hold auditions in a place where the students are very intelligent, indicated the University as their first choice. The show is attempting to combat the sterotypical misconception that attractive people aren’t intelligent.
The University is rushing to publish the calendar by December in time for the new year. Proceeds from the calendar sales will be used for either charities or scholarships for the University, according to the director of University communications, Larry Arbeiter.