Crusade for Union food losing support

Patrick Muenks

?In debate, there is a common position called the Movements Disadvantage. It contends that when a social movement achieves a victory, support for the cause tends to fade. This is because after a major victory, many people who supported the movement feel that they have solved for problem. Even if there is more work that needs to be done, support for the cause dwindles anyway. This will result in the movement being ultimately being defeated.

?This problem of a Movements Disadvantage is occurring at Washburn. During early October, the student body made a great push for much needed changes in the Union Market. These changes included: lowering the price of food, the posting of hours for the Union and specific food stations, moving items now sold in the Corner Store back into the Union, increasing the variety of food offered and finally having questions answered regarding the policy with money left in student accounts at the end of the year. This movement started with a petition signed by over 400 students being submitted to several officials at Washburn.

?Independently, a survey was conducted by Residential Housing Association which showed an average of 2.45 out of 5 with regard to satisfaction with the Union Market ranging from price, selection and overall presentation. It should be noted that pricing received the lowest score, averaging only 1.7 out of 5.

?This culminated with a student Senate meeting where the survey was presented by RHA and the Union Market was scheduled to send a representative to field questions from concerned students. It was later found out that official in charge of pricing for the Union had been fired. As such students did not have the opportunity to ask the questions they felt needed to be addressed.

?While most individuals supporting this movement found the firing of the Union official to be a success, the question that should be ask is “What has really changed?” Prices in the Union remain the same; students do not have more selections to choose from and all of the questions that students felt needed to be addressed still have not been answered.

?Even more frightening is that the active support for this movement is dwindling. Over a month has passed since the initial push for change in the Union. The change started off great with support from students and organizations on campus. It seems that after the firing of the Union official though, that students no longer care about whether or not anything will actually change. Talk of how the Union prices are unfair, or how dissatisfied students are is giving way, yet still nothing has changed from a month ago.

?This movement is a justified cause that needs to continue. The apathetic attitude that is overtaking students needs to disappear. Concerned students should be actively going to student government meetings and asking their Senators questions about why the Union policies have not change or do something as simple as sign a petition. While realistically change cannot happen over night, it is more than reasonable to at least have our questions and concerns not only recognized by Union officials, but also answered.

?Students have the power to make real change in this school. This point is evident by the changing of Union staff in response to concerns that arose from students. This movement cannot falter. While it has achieved a victory, there is still much that needs to be done. In order for this movement to succeed, it requires the efforts of all students to stay informed and stay active in their pursuit.