During the meeting, we presented the Committee with a synopsis of our goals which include; acquiring a Food Advocate – someone who will ensure that “real food” is a widely offered, bridging the gap between Pace students and our food provider, Chartwells, and allowing for active participatory engagement by students in their eating practices and food choices. These sentiments were agreeable throughout the Committee, as all believed that it was important for students to play an active role in the food they eat.
We discussed the the fact many students have their own well- established eating habits that may not include sustainable food, or what we call, “real food” because it may not be what they are used to, what they like or what they can afford. We all agreed our team had a bit more work to do and would have to gear our efforts toward educating the student body as to why sustainable food is a better option for our campus. We also agreed that it would be best to preserve the “status quo”, and in bringing in sustainable foods, we would also retain foods students are used to, in an effort to diversity dining options. We discussed the possibility of surveying the campus community to better understand what residents and commuters alike, enjoy, dislike and hope to see improved about their food experiences.
Our team brought to the table several models we believe that our campus could mock, like the Bard College and New School model in which, through student engagement, these campuses were able to attain a Food Advocate, or were able to establish a campus farm where food went from the farm, through the cafeteria and into the kitchen. Bard was successful in achieving both! Committee member Professor Spillo, brought forth the idea that here on our own campus we could attempt something similar to the Bard model, allocating some of our own land to agriculture, sowing seeds and reaping produce that would feed the entire campus body. No one could disagree that this would be a bad idea at all.
Students have the right to know and be engaged, and with the help and advice of the Committee members, we hope to forge a campus culture that understands that nourishment of the body is directly correlated with nourishment of the mind and thus, nourishment of a happy and healthy campus.