The Hatchet has been misleading in it's assertion that the J Street spending requirements cannot be changed. Too many of us within the student body are contented with this defeatist attitude, especially considering that students have not considered every method through which we can bring about change on this ever-important issue.
The SA should seriously consider calling for a limited boycott of Sodexho services if conventional negotiating can't get the job done. In my dealings with food service providers I've learned that nothing speaks to these companies like money; if their revenue stream is threatened, their listening abilities magically improve. Since students are the chief patrons of J St. venues (forced patrons, though some of us may be) we are certainly entitled to use this leverage to get Sodexho to listen to our demands. The J St. spending requirements do not benefit a single student on campus, and Freshmen and Sophomores in particularly must not be fond of forcing to contribute over $50 million each year to Sodexho in undeserved patronage. Should Sodexho snub our modest proposal to restore the GWorld system to what it was like just two years ago, the SA should be prepared to request that Junior and Senior students forgo J St. patronage entirely, and ask underclassmen to spend as little more than what they must. Additionally, the SA could raise additional funds by selling "J St. Stole My Lunch Money" T-shirts, also brinigng more attention to this important campus issue. Plus, I assure you they'd be sweet shirts.
As someone who has negotiated with food service contractors during my involvement with the West Des Moines city council in 2006, I'm best equipped with the knowledge and experience to argue for real change on this issue. I'm disappointed that despite holding powerful positions within the SA, Boyer, Bindleglass, and Polk have failed to bring any improvement on this issue this entire year. Although these are wonderful candidates, at this critical time the students need someone who is seriously ready to take on this issue, and that's where I come in.
A boycott would definitely be the last-resort option, but students should seriously be ready to embrace it if we're going to get serious about reclaiming our money from Sodexho. A good business earns its patronage rather than mandating it, and by this measure Sodexho has not been a good company to for the past two years. Considering what we pay for tuition, GW students clearly deserve better treatment from Sodexho.