OUSC to confront Chartwells over prices

By Dan Evola

Student Body Vice President

Most of us have at one time played the Parker Brother’s classic board game Monopoly. You pick your piece (I chose the little hat), and try to control the board in order to make the other players pay you obscene amounts of money to land on your property. We all know Park Place, the Boardwalk, but what about our beloved Oakland Center? Many would argue that Oakland University has its own game of Monopoly going with Chartwells food service.

For those of you who are not aware of what Chartwells is, I will take a moment to enlighten you. Chartwells is the only food service organization allowed to distribute any food in the Oakland Center, whether it’s the Pioneer Food Court or a student organization event. They are contracted by the OC. Think back on every catered event you have ever attended at the OC. It was undoubtedly Chartwells food served by Chartwells employees.

For the average student, this is why lunch in the OC empties your pockets. There is no competition allowed, therefore Chartwells sets prices unopposed. For those with special dietary needs, such as vegans, this is why there is a lack of alternative food options. But most noticeably, for those involved in student organizations, this is why most food orders for meetings and events will completely drain your accounts.

For example, a gallon of Lemonade costs $12.95 through Chartwells (prices can be viewed on their website). Last time I checked, Lemonade consisted of some pretty rare and expensive ingredients: something to the extent of water, sugar and lemons. A quick trip to Busch’s supermarket reveals that the most expensive form of lemonade costs nowhere near half the price of Chartwells’ variety. But because of the agreement with the OC, student organizations are forced to buy and serve the Chartwells lemonade. Perhaps it’s the extreme quality and service we pay for, but if that’s the case then I have been receiving a terrible amount of false complaints. The caliber of service and quality of food is a concern equal to that of the prices in the eyes of many students.

I could probably fill pages of The Oakland Post with angry stories, complaints, and general dislike with our food situation in the OC, but I am writing this article for a much different reason. I would like to personally invite each and every person reading this article to stop complaining and do something about it. Monday, Oct. 20, Chartwells is sending representatives to the Oakland University Student Congress meeting to hear our issues with the current food service in the OC. This is your opportunity to come voice your concerns and help change the situation for the better.

The more students in the gallery, the more of an impact we can make on the food service industry at OU. There are over 120 student organizations at OU. If every one sent just one representative, our meeting would be overflowing. This is not even including the large amount of students not involved with organizations who are just plain dissatisfied.

So this Monday, Oct. 20, make sure to bring your proverbial pitchforks and torches to the Oakland Room of the OC at 4 p.m., and let Chartwells know that they cannot pass go and collect our $200.