The life of a college student often revolves around food, and Trinity’s Student Government Association (SGA) has made recent efforts to improve this aspect of college life. The SGA’s Safety and Wellness Committee recently founded the Snap It Campaign, an initiative that seeks to ensure Trinity students receive quality food on a regular basis.
Chartwells, the food company which services Trinity, explains on its website that it is “dedicated to providing the academic community with innovative, healthy dining options.” However, recent incidents and conversations reported by students spurred Jason Gordon, the chair of the Safety and Wellness Committee, to found the Snap It Campaign. Jason heard of several students who had gotten food poisoning after eating the Chartwells food.
The Snap It Campaign seeks to respond to these health concerns and complaints. The SGA explains on its new Facebook page, “Trinity College’s Snap It Campaign 2012-2013,” that the project is meant to ensure the health of its students. Especially during the flu months and exam period, healthy meals are an essential for college students with large workloads.
In order to make this goal a reality, the Snap It Campaign is set up so that students can take a digital photo of any food on campus that is obviously unsafe to eat. Using a camera or cellphone allows the student body to bring attention to any major problems with their Chartwells food. Pictures can be sent to the email address firstname.lastname@example.org. This information is posted all over campus on blue fliers advertising the campaign. The posters grab many students’ attention because they feature a photo of a bug sitting in a plate of food. However, the Snap It Campaign noted on its Facebook that this image is meant to be representative – it is not an actual photo of Chartwells’ food.
The Safety and Wellness Committee plans print any pictures received through email and then compile them in a safe place. Once the Committee receives ten photos that display obvious health risks, the Safety and Wellness Committee members will meet with Toby Chennette, an employee who works with Chartwells at Trinity.
So far the Snap It Campaign has received a few complaints, but nothing warranting a meeting with Chartwells. Jason explains that, “students need to know that there is something they can do if they receive food that presents them with obvious safety/health risks.” Jason met with Chartwells earlier this year to talk about the food that is served on campus. However, the Safety and Wellness Committee did not inform Chartwells about the Snap It Campaign before it was launched.
On the Snap It Campaign’s official Facebook page, a few Trinity students have shared their frustration with the food options on campus. One student explains that a few months ago she found a piece of broken plate in her made-to-order food at Mather. She says that she was lucky she noticed the glass before eating her meal or accidentally putting the piece of plate in her mouth.
Another student, who is very vocal about his irritation with Chartwells, posted on the Facebook page that, “Chartwells is a joke, it’s a disgrace that our parents pay this much money for us to eat such terrible, low-grade, overpriced food.”
It is clear that some students express serious discontent toward Trinity’s food options. One first year student explained that she does not eat meat at Mather because she once saw massive amounts of raw meat sitting out behind the dessert bar for a long period of time. The Snap It Campaign is meant to give a voice to these complains students may feel every day, yet are not voiced to an organization with any power to make a change.
Jason stated that the Snap It Campaign is meant to point out irregularities or unusual circumstances in Chartwells food – it does not want to attack Chartwells’ overall performance. He explained that the Snap It Campaign is “about ensuring that Trinity students have a means of speaking out about the food that they receive on this campus.” The SGA is trying to look out for Trinity students, not condemn the food company that services them.