Food fight, new association await student approval

In the upcoming referendum, students are being asked to support better meal services for Loyola residences.
Some students want full restitution for their meal plan, more vegetarian and vegan choices, and meal plans from non-corporate food providers. In addition, some students are demanding an optional, rather than mandatory, meal plan be available.
In November 2001, 37 residence students from the Loyola campus suffered from food poisoning as a result of food provided by the Sodexho meal plan.
Interim president of the CSU, Patrice Blais, said resident students should receive compensation for their limited, unhealthy menu. “It’s definitely something that would be negotiated following the approval of this referendum question.”
Blais added the student union stands behind all four of the students’ demands. “The least we can do is support them and try to improve their conditions,” he said. “[They] shouldn’t have to be forced to have such a meal plan, especially when it’s definitely not that great of a meal plan. They should have diversity for people with a different diet.”
Meanwhile, Cindy Mathers, a residence assistant who has lived on campus for three years, said something has to be done about lack of variety. “What we have is often repeated. When you end up eating grill everyday – how healthy is it?”
Should students join a solidarity union?
Another referendum question being asked in the upcoming election is concerning Concordia’s affiliation with the Association for a Student Union Solidarity (Association pour une Solidarite Syndicale Etudiante-ASSE). ASSE is a growing Quebec-wide student union that seeks to unite CEGEP and university students for the right to an accessible, public, and quality education.
Assistant Researcher AndrŽ Munro initially proposed the idea. He believes being part of the association will benefit Concordia greatly because the government views members of the ASSE in terms of higher education in general, not as CEGEP versus university.
Being part of the association would entail a 10-cent-per-credit cost for students as of fall 2002. But according to Munro, it’s a small price to pay considering the overall advantage. “This organization brings student unions together to fight for education.”
Munro maintains that among other benefits, being part of the association will increase the chances of winning for freezing tuition.
CSU Interim President Patrice Blais, said that being part of the movement would make Concordia a stronger university. “It’s important for the student union to develop more ties with francophones in order to strengthen our source of help in the fight with the provincial government.”


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