Thursday, March 5, 2009

3rd Communique - BW Admits We Are Right, But the Struggle Continues

We in the Baldwin-Wallace Food Justice Council have had an interesting week. Following our first meeting, and its announcement we have been contacted by several B-W alumni who support us and our efforts. We have also faced continuous harassment from the College Administration.

In the cafeteria, one of our members always makes sure that when he gets a free glass of water from the beverage fountain, that as he walks by the check out counter, he is sure to point out that he only has a free glass of water, as not to be accused of stealing. He does this in light of the fact that college bureaucracy has attempted to paint the Council as a food stealing conspiracy.

One day, in response to this justified precaution, a woman, not a cafeteria worker, but a college bureaucrat who polices the student union screamed at the member harshly. “Don’t make a big deal out of it!” She screamed at high-pitched tone and loud volume making a scene, and causing many to pause nervously. “It’s not bad anymore!” She screeched at him.

The phrase “it’s not bad anymore” raises many questions about the Union’s water. Was it bad at one time? Is that what this woman meant? We shall be investigating this further. Contamination of Water at Baldwin-Wallace would a matter that if it existed, all students should have been informed of. Is more foul play afoot at B-W than just price gauging?

A member of the Council was personally e-mailed, without solicitation by David Jenson, director of Auxiliary Services at Baldwin-Wallace College. Though he may have been attempting to make the case that we were wrong, the information he provided in his e-mail confirmed what the Council has been arguing since our first communiqué.

Jenson, in a graph he sent us, showed the average total of union of purchases on various recent dates. Not a single one of the averages was below $4.00. On top of that, these averages include all purchases made during the times he chose to highlight. If someone got a cup of coffee or other beverage for little over a dollar, this brought the averages down significantly. According to Jenson’s own statistics, we in the Baldwin-Wallace Food Justice Council are correct about the fact that 4.00 meals are impossible on the union budget, even including the statistical outliers of small purchases.

As the Baldwin-Wallace Food Justice Council grows in strength and numbers daily, the Union has stripped all critical comments, especially those involving food prices, from the comments board. A single, anonymous comment in sloppy handwriting telling the staff “don’t listen to the food justice council.” Does the College intend make it look as if this were the opinion of the vast majority of the students? We in the Council find this to be hilarious, and thank whoever wrote this note attacking us for the free publicity.

It is clear that college administration and its officials, which constantly lecture us “kids” about taking “responsibility” for our actions, are not ready to do so themselves. Their response to our pointing out their dishonesty has been harassment and abuse, from screaming in lunch lines, to disruption of our internet activity, and a slew of personal insults against several of the groups founders which can be found across facebook.

How ironic it is, that to so many of the college bureaucracy’s members, we are “brats” and “kids” who need to “grow up.” There is nothing more mature than seeing an injustice, and not cowering in fear, but standing up like a human being and fighting back. Likewise, there is nothing more immature than to intimidate, threaten, and degrade those who point out your faults, rather than merely correcting them for the good of all parties involved.

We, in the Baldwin-Wallace Food Justice Council wish to announce our second public meeting. This meeting will be held on Thursday March 19th in the lounge of Ernsthausen Hall located in the C wing. The meeting will begin at 9 PM.

As many of us are skipping meals and hungry, and our supporters in the community and the general area have been generous, free Pizza will be provided to all in attendance. Join us and eat, as we plot how to make sure we can do so for the rest of our college experience.

Various community activists and organizations have come out in our support. We recognize that justice is something that must be won. We will fight for food justice, and we will win. We will eat! See you there on March 19th, at 9 PM.

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