Author: Katie Presley
Last Thursday, Oct. 30, Oxy students and administrators met in a General Assembly meeting to discuss 24-hour facilities and accommodations on campus. A group of approximately 40 filled Johnson 204 to hear the discussion. Students were joined by several members of Oxy staff, including representatives from Campus Dining, Emmons, Campus Safety and Student Life.
The most controversial discussion of the day surrounded Emmons Health Center, and questions from students about why students couldn’t use Emmons 24 hours a day. ASOC General Assembly co-Chair Alex Nourafshan (sophomore) posed a question about taxi vouchers that Emmons offers for students who need to go to the hospital, asking that students and administration alike work to inform students more fully about Emmons’ offerings.
Rourke Harrington (senior) voiced concerns over the lack of funds that are responsible for Emmons not staying open all day, every day. “We should cut other funding and give it to Emmons,” Harrington said.
Director of Student Health Services Richard Youngblood responded: “It’s a nice idea. It’s not very realistic,” he said. Youngblood went on to explain that as recently as the early 80s, Emmons was an infirmary where students could sleep overnight. Cost and labor are now too difficult to cover.
Also presenting on 24-hour accommodations was Amy Munoz, Associate Vice President for Hospitality Services on campus. Munoz pointed out that Oxy is already one of few schools whose campus dining department allows students to provide school food at events.
“We mitigate the risk for the College by providing food safety classes,” Munoz said. She teaches the one-hour class, which is not for certification but is required of at least one club member at events where food is provided.
Once students have taken a food safety class, the opportunities for staying open later are larger. If students are willing to provide some of the labor needed to offer more hours at the Marketplace or Cooler, there is more chance campus dining can turn 24/7. But students haven’t been interested.
“We have hours for students right now on Friday and Saturday nights,” Munoz said. “Those are the hardest times to fill already.”
Students at the G.A. meeting were the most interested in food options staying open longest, and provided the most suggestions for 24-hour options. In response to a student asking why taco trucks couldn’t work from campus, Munoz mentioned the unionization of Oxy Dining employees.
“Oxy employees are unionized,” she said. “They earn higher wages because of it. To bring in another entity to compete with union jobs would be a problem.”
Following Munoz was Director of Campus Safety, Holly Nieto. Student concerns focused on the installation of security cameras that point off-campus. Harrington offered a resolution that called for cameras located on Hameetman.
Nieto said that Oxy currently has 159 cameras on campus, three of which point toward streets. She and Tamara Rice, Assistant Dean of Students for Student Life, both mentioned the money involved with most suggestions made at the meeting, security equipment especially.
“To do something, we have to give up something else,” Rice asked. “Are students really willing to give some things up?”
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