The first two weeks of November saw a change in dining hall menus with the rotation of beef between the Mission, Whitman and Driscoll dining halls. In each of the two weeks, only one of the three dining halls served industrially produced beef. This new system, devised by Max Harmon ’18 and the Student Food Committee, was created in part to lower the College’s environmental impact by decreasing its purchase of industrial meat.
“I think the current system doesn’t work very well,” Harmon said. He explained that the current system allows dining services to test changes to its menus, but forces them to change it back if there is any amount of student outrage. “What I’m hoping to change is the process in which myself or others put forth an idea for what the menus could be that makes sense for a variety of reasons, and then put the onus on the people who don’t want it to make a good case.”
Despite the outrage on social media following the beef reduction, Harmon reported not receiving anything particularly negative in terms of feedback. “I received a lot of positive responses,” he said.
The beef rotation system was stopped after its two-week implementation, but Harmon plans to present his food proposal to College Council in order to make the system a regular occurrence. “I don’t know if there’s really a precedent for that … but that’s the way I see this going forward,” Harmon said.
Overall, Harmon expressed hope for the future of student input in the choices of dining services.
“I definitely see this as the beginning … I see it as a relatively easy first step … in hopefully a continued process,” he said.
Director of Dining Services Robert Volpi did not respond to requests for comment.