The Faculty/Student Association formally announced yesterday that campus dining, long a target of student criticism, would switch contractors over the summer from Compass Group’s Chartwells to Lackmann Culinary Services.
But before you applaud the change, a few things to keep in mind. Stony Brook used to contract with Lackmann, a local dining service based out of Woodbury, Long Island, but they lost their contract in 1982 after a contentious bid dispute with the FSA. The contract was awarded to DAKA, which has since been acquired by the Compass Group.
And then there’s the matter of Lackmann’s current contracts. Several other colleges and universities use Lackmann in their dining halls, and the reviews from students have been less than stellar.
The Observer, a student newspaper at Broward College, is no fan of Lackmann, and the university’s Student Government Association (the equivalent of Stony Brook’s Undergraduate Student Government) has been pushing for changes.
Same at Hofstra, where there is even a student group (Students Amending Lackmann Associated Dining) that was created to address the shortcomings of their campus dining, also run by Lackmann. And in an editorial published in the Hofstra Chronicle, students allege that Lackmann and Hofstra’s dining services were failing to provide students with receipts upon request (as required by law), and that fraudulent charges to meal cards of both students and faculty went unresolved. (Hofstra officials responded to the charges in a follow-up letter to the editor, calling the charges unsubstantiated. Shocker.)
THiNK Magazine has yet to do its own reporting into the matter, so it would be unfair of us to pass judgment on Lackmann. And student complaints about campus dining are not exactly rare occurrences, no matter at which university or what food service provider holds the contract.
But there are several questions that should be answered. THiNK Magazine will keep an eye on this developing story, and hopefully so will the other campus publications (all of which have yet to report on this, oddly. Get on it, guys!)
Stay with THiNK and the InTuition blog for our own original reporting.