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Save BuDS calls for increased number of student workers, transparency

Members of student coalition present at UCS general body meeting Wednesday night

Student coalition Save Brown University Dining Services presented to the Undergraduate Council of Students at the Council’s general body meeting Wednesday evening.

Save BuDS aims to increase the number of student workers in dining halls and promote transparency between Brown Dining Services and BuDS. Recently instated BDS policies, such as a 20-hour weekly cap on student working hours, a limit on student worker recruitment and the removal of some student leadership positions, have made it difficult for student employees to manage their job responsibilities and other commitments, members of the coalition said. No BDS administrators attended the UCS meeting.

“We are deeply committed to serving students, to serving all customers,” BuDS supervisor Erica Kim ’22 said at the meeting. But it has become “increasingly difficult to provide a quality of service and food that we would like to.”

The new cap on working hours, for instance, has made it harder for students who need to work over 20 hours per week to meet financial needs, said BuDS supervisor Mathilde Barland ’21.

Many shifts have also been filled by temporary workers, whose three-semester turnover makes it difficult for them to be trained by supervisors, Kim said, particularly in fast-paced working environments like the Blue Room.

These policy changes come after former BDS student employees Maxwell Kozlov ’20 and Herald staff columnist Benjamin Bosis ’19, among other students,  filed a complaint in a collective civil action lawsuit against the University in January, The Herald previously reported. Save BuDS is unaffiliated with the lawsuit, Kim said.

Kim also said that because of understaffing, “we are genuinely concerned that we won’t be able to serve all of our customers, and that we won’t be able to keep the unit running.”

As part of its efforts, Save BuDS has created a list of demands and a petition outlining its goals.

Save BuDS plans to present a more comprehensive letter to BDS administrators about the effects of recent policy changes once they garner more support.

At the start of the meeting, Undergraduate Finance Board Vice Chair Fatoumata Kabba ’22 presented information about the new Event Assistance Fund created by the Board. The fund will help cover the cost of tickets to student-run events and food at off-campus conferences, The Herald previously reported.

Transformative Justice Program Coordinator Dara Bayer ’08 also facilitated a discussion about transformative justice at the meeting alongside Transformative Justice Student Coordinators Camila Pelsinger ’20 and Xochi Cartland ’21.

Bayer presented on the Transformative Justice Practitioner Program, which will be piloted later this year, and sought feedback from Council members on how to make transformative justice more accessible to the broader campus.


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