The Campus Dining Petition

Wrong for dining dorms; wrong for students; wrong for MIT

Response to November 29 Amendments

November 29, 2010

Dear petition signer,

We'll keep this quick - we hope this is a helpful summary to keep you up to date on the dining plan.

As indicated in our Thanksgiving day letter, we expected to hear changes from Dean Colombo about amendments to the new dining plan this week. That announcement was made just a few minutes ago, and as expected, Dean Colombo and HDAG are attempting to implement the new plan with minimal changes that blantantly disregard our concerns. It is imperative that we express our intolerance for these actions immediately.

Here's why: the amendments to the new dining plan, which allow rising juniors and seniors in old dining dorms to purchase a 7 meals/week "transition plan" for $2500 for one year only, can only be reasonably interpreted as a thinly-veiled attempt to subdue student opposition for long enough to allow HDAG to implement the original plan.

Not to mention that $2500 for seven meals a week is an expensive buyout option at best. That's $11.90 per meal. It's also more than house dining students currently pay for all of their meals combined; reports put that number at approximately $2250.

In short: the amendments are almost completely useless, and in no way constitute a "direct response to several thoughtful, productive ideas put forth by students in House Dining communities" as Dean Colombo claims. Rather, they are an outrageous attempt to seem responsive to our feedback without acknowledging the concerns that we have articulated.

We must voice our disapproval with the latest administrative actions:

We're not happy that Dean Colombo finds the new plan--an expensive halfway commitment--an adequate response to our concerns.

We're not happy that nothing is being done to address the high expense that the class of 2014 and future generations of MIT students will have to bear.

And we're not happy that the plan in its current form will continue to have a negative impact on MIT student life. Clubs and FSILGs will still suffer. Dorm culture will still change, because many folks are still planning on moving--and new students will still consider the huge cost differences when choosing where to live.

Here's what we need to do:

  • Talk to friends about the latest news on dining. Make sure they know what's going on because this will affect everyone at MIT.
  • Take two minutes to write a quick email to Dean Colombo expressing your distaste for the plan, the amendment, and the process. It doesn't have to be lengthy; so if you're thinking about doing this, do it now. You can send your letters to and they will be sent to Dean Colombo, us (for archival purposes), and The Tech.

Thank you for being vocal, and best of luck.

The organizers