Food, a necessary part of work
It is well known that our staff works from 4 p.m. until whenever we are done, whether it be 2 or 11 a.m. We keep upbeat music blaring, take trips to Starbucks and do whatever we can to get through the sluggish feeling that sets in around 11 p.m. and lasts until 3 a.m. After that point, our second wind kicks in, and it’s full steam ahead.
Would you work from 4 p.m. to 11 a.m. without getting hungry? Probably not. Without eating we each get tired, cranky and a grumbling stomach makes working these hours downright unbearable.
Food is important fuel for the body, and we need it to get through the long hours. Each week we snack on fruit, chips and salsa and the occasional gummy bear or Swedish fish. The money used to purchase the food for our staff is budgeted each year.
However, last year our food budget was reduced by ASLC Cabinet without notifying us beforehand, and this year it is being cut completely. Our staff already works hard and sacrifices a lot of time each week. We should be able to request money in our budget to feed ourselves.
It goes beyond packing a lunch and a snack like regular places of employment because the hours are so long. Some days we would need a lunch, afternoon snack, dinner, 9 p.m. snack, midnight snack, 3 a.m. snack and 6 a.m. breakfast. This is a lot of food, and that is only if you eat every three hours. Some people are grazers and need to eat more often, especially when their bodies are starving for energy because of the lack of sleep.
The Cabinet informed our staff it is cutting every club’s food budget to save money, but the members obviously understand the importance of food at meetings because as they were telling us this, they were consuming two large pizzas that we doubt they paid for out of their own pockets without being reimbursed. Providing food is absolutely crucial for a happy working environment for the Review and clubs on campus.
Other clubs use food to attract students to meetings and events and to feed members during community service trips or special outings. This is our money in the first place; it should be used to provide sustenance if we want it to.
We were told that if we wanted to purchase food, we could take money from other areas of our budget. However, we have a budget for a reason. We scrupulously allot dollars to exactly what we need. If we scrimp from other areas to buy food, we will be reducing the quality of our paper by being forced to sacrifice color issues or new software, and may not be able to send a staff member to a newspaper training conference.
We cannot simply take $30 a week from other areas. We did not budget that way. And we do not want to hide that amount in our budget labeled as other expenses. We feel that is what is being asked of us. That is not being open, and we are honest with our spending.
We have had the opportunity in years past to trade advertising for sandwiches and salads with Quiznos. However, there is no guarantee that we will have that opportunity next year. Also, would a six-inch sandwich or salad sustain you for 14 hours? It is a great deal for us, but it is still not enough.
We were upset last year when Cabinet made adjustments to our budget and did not give us a chance to contest them before the final announcement at Senate. This year, we have until next Monday to get something changed. Cabinet needs to listen to clubs and try to find other solutions rather than ignore the issue and subtly request less-than-responsible
The Review’s relationship with the Cabinet has suffered in the last year, and listening and accommodating our needs would put us back on the right path.