Students Boycott Caf over Prices
Although cafeteria prices are often discussed and complained about by today’s generation of discontented YU students, a review of two Commentator articles from 1989, reprinted below, shows that dissatisfaction with cafeteria prices reached such high levels that students actually began to create organizations dedicated to protesting the caf’s prices, by putting up posters and satirical cartoons. Even more surprising than groups of anonymous students protesting is the fact that the Yeshiva College Student Council (YCSC) supported the protests and became involved, actually organizing and implementing a complete boycott of the caf.
Caf Attack Causes Resignation
November 21, 1989
A secretive anti-cafeteria organization helped renew student protests against the cafeteria last week, but also compelled Senior Joseph Hyman, Chairman of the Food Services Committee to resign his post.
Hyman resigned after a satirical flyer on cafeteria prices appeared on dormitory bulletin boards and stairwells…The flyer asks in bold letters, “Hey Jo, how much was that salad?” “Jo” then answers, “Only $9.95, but I also got a free one ounce drink!” The flyer ends, “Signed ROTEC, Rest Of The Eaters Club.
ROTEC produced three other sarcastic portrayals of the caf last week, surreptitiously distributing the flyers around campus during the early morning hours…
Hyman, who says he has been dealing with student anger over cafeteria prices since the beginning of the year, called ROTEC’s first flyer “The last straw.”
“Criticism to my face I can take, but having my name up on the wall, that’s not something I want to deal with. I want to deal with issues, not politics.”
ROTEC claims its flyer was directed solely against the cafeteria, and that the name “Jo” was chosen arbitrarily…
Boycott Breeds Negotiation
December 22, 1989
A YCSC-sponsored boycott brought cafeteria service to a standstill on Thursday, December 7. Throughout the day, protesting students stationed at the cafeteria entrances appealed to would-be customers not to patronize the cafeteria. The boycott was honored by almost all members of the YU community, leaving the Furman Dining Hall empty of customers for all three meals.
To prepare the student body, YCSC sold hundreds of “Boycott Survival Kits” containing deli sandwiches from Bernstein’s on the night before the boycott. Other activities to publicize the boycott consisted of placing large signs in the lobbies of the Residence Halls and writing “BOYCOTT” in red ink across the cafeteria’s publicity posters that are posted in the dormitories…
The boycott was implemented to call attention to student concerns about the cafeteria. [YCSC] outlined the four major demands that are being sought: to lower the prices, to examine the Food Service’s books, and to insure that a meal plan will not be mandatory next year.
Most students feel the boycott was a resounding success in that though it demonstrated concretely their dissatisfaction with the cafetira [sic]. Many were also impressed with the student unity displayed during the Boycott.
Students hope that the success of the boycott will convince the Administration to make concessions on prices and portion sizes.