by Barbara Black
Zev Tiefenbach, the initiator of a student-run soup kitchen at the university
called The Peoples Potato, has written to Rector Frederick Lowy
to ask for a student-run cafeteria.
His letter says, in part, Over the last few months I have been closely
involved with the MSA (Muslim Student Association), working with them
to provide several thousand meals to Muslim students throughout the holy
month of Ramadan.
The working relationship that formed was exceptional and many ideas
have been discussed to strengthen campus unity and to build a diverse
and empowered community at the university.
The students want to run an operation that would permit student groups
to produce and sell foods. He adds, We believe that
we have the skills, knowledge and expertise to make such a project not
only feasible but a monumental success for the Concordia community.
Vice-Rector Services Michael Di Grappa said that the proposal for a student-food
cafeteria is consistent with our intentions to provide food services
that reflect the diversity of the university community.
He added that the food services contract, which is currently held by a
private supplier, is up for review in May. This might be an interesting
way to complement a new contract that we will sign with an outside provider.
However, he said, it is important to ensure that any food supplier provides
continuity and stability. We will have to discuss specifics with
the Peoples Potato at the appropriate time.
The Peoples Potato started two years ago with volunteer labour and
donations, and went through an arduous period when heavy cauldrons of
hot soup and other food had to be transported manually via the Hall Buildings
elevators, escalators and staircases from the seventh-floor preparation
area to the basement of Reggies.
Organizers stuck with the project, and various departments of the university
have contributed help, both financial and in services. Part of the seventh
floor was renovated, and The Peoples Potato has been located there
this year alongside the conventional cafeteria.