They Listened

Cartoon Issue 14

We spoke. They listened.

Through the work of several student senators, the desire for more late-night dining options across SUNY New Paltz became a reality as Campus Auxiliary Services (CAS) announced that a newly-rebuilt Oscar’s will once again serve the campus community culminating with a grand reopening on Feb. 1.

We at The New Paltz Oracle would like to commend both our student senators for taking the whims and wants of its campus community to heart and SUNY New Paltz for changing the course of their plans for the future to incorporate said desires.

Over the course of the last few years, SUNY New Paltz dining options have undergone many changes. Last semester, Executive Director of CAS Steve Deutsch announced that Hasbrouck Dining Hall had been remodeled and a transition toward late-night options in the Student Union would be taken into account following a push by former Student Association President Terrell Coakley for more options to be available for students.

As last semester went on, CAS responded to student complaints with the hours of operation for late-night dining options in stride, and now – when students went a step further and asked for more than just the Student Union to be a dining option – they listened again.

We are particularly happy with CAS’s response to student concerns, coming off the heels of a contentious relationship that formed between the organization and student leaders last semester regarding the Request For Proposal (RFP) for prospective food service providers last semester.

At points last semester, it appeared that CAS and its board members were not looking directly at what students on the campus they serve were asking for in regards to the RFP. However, with their announcement that Oscars will be reopened instead of becoming the campus bakery (as previously planned), it is clear CAS has started this semester on the right foot and its board members and decision makers are responding to the various factions of campus who clearly desired more options to consume food on campus.

We have said time and time again that student response, feedback and opinion is by far the most important factor to be considered by CAS or any decision-making body on campus. This is our home as much as it is their workplace, and our opinions should not be taken lightly. While our opinions can be scattered – and unfortunately many times outlandish – if we are properly educated and take the time to make informed judgments, we can be undeniably helpful in any decision making process.

We as an editorial board hope CAS continues to take student input in stride as they continue adding dining options on campus as we watch buildings erected across campus. When asked in a timely manner, our input can be insightful and truly gauge the pulse of what we, as consumers on campus, want to eat.

More importantly, this announcement can symbolize much more than just another place to eat on campus. CAS’s decision to listen to students should be used as a springboard for other governing bodies on campus.

Sure, sometimes we as students can overreact – especially in instances of ‘trendy’ news items we are told to care about by our peers – but if we as a campus community take the time to become well informed and well versed in the campus around us, we can make impacts in ways we haven’t even thought of yet.

If they take the obvious step to reach out to student leadership, reach out to the student body and reach out to the campus community at large, we will listen.

If our campus community is happy with the progress our voices have made in regards to our dining options, why not continue that trend? We implore those reading this to continue to stay informed of the community around them. Uninformed, our voices are useless. But if you take the extra second to look beyond what you are told by your friends and seek truthful, informative news – our voices cannot be stopped.