ASUC Approves Tully's Lease, Still Considering Panda Express Contract

Photo: Several spoke out against the proposed Panda Express deal at an ASUC Store Operations Board meeting during public comment.
Chris Chung/Photo
Several spoke out against the proposed Panda Express deal at an ASUC Store Operations Board meeting during public comment.

Related Articles »





  • Printer Friendly Printer Friendly
  • Comments Comments (0)

The ASUC Store Operations Board unanimously voted to make its lease with Tully's Coffee official last night, while a finalized contract with Panda Express waits until the board's meeting in April.

A Tully's Coffee kiosk in the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union could be erected by the end of the semester.

While the Tully's deal has been relatively unopposed by students, the proposed Panda Express contract has been met with controversy, as attested by the 50 students who voiced their concerns over the chain during public comment at the Store Operations Board meeting.

One of the chief concerns was whether the board's decision process has sufficiently taken student views into account.

"There's a lack of transparency on what Lower Sproul is going to look like in the future," said senior Erin Pangilinan at the meeting. "Is this what activists of UC Berkeley of the '60s envisioned their campus to be? We should have a say, because the university runs off students."

But Jordan Smith, chair of the Store Operations Board, said the decision to partner with Panda Express without holding an open bidding process took place before he became chair.

"The decision was made over a year and a half ago," he said. "We were looking for a strategic partner, and at that point we decided to start working with them."

Smith said that at the time no other businesses were willing to invest in the infrastructure necessary to convert the office space into a restaurant.

Panda Express has offered to invest $750,000 to install a kitchen and restaurant, he said.

Pangilinan and other students also said they were worried Panda Express would offer inauthentic Chinese food and misrepresent UC Berkeley's Asian American community.

"Panda Express is unhealthy, unsustainable and it's cultural imperialism to have it on the UC Berkeley campus," said ASUC Cooperative Movement Senator Christina Oatfield.

But ASUC Auxiliary Director Nadesan Permaul said the decision to partner with Panda Express was a necessary financial move for the ASUC.

Without the reliable flow of income the chain would provide through rent, he said, the ASUC risks defaulting.

"Revenue from Panda Express is absolutely necessary," he said.

Permaul added that the losses sustained by the ASUC Bookstore have reached $1.9 million for this fiscal year, up from $1.3 million last month.

The board is poised to vote on the contract at their next meeting, scheduled for April 14.

Tags: PANDA EXPRESS, ASUC STORE OPERATIONS BOARD


Contact Rachel Gross and Katie Meyer at [email protected]



Comments (0) »

Comment Policy
The Daily Cal encourages readers to voice their opinions respectfully in regards to both the readers and writers of The Daily Californian. Comments are not pre-moderated, but may be removed if deemed to be in violation of this policy. Comments should remain on topic, concerning the article or blog post to which they are connected. Brevity is encouraged. Posting under a pseudonym is discouraged, but permitted. Click here to read the full comment policy.
White space
Left Arrow
ASUC
Image Senate votes against spending reform bill
When Independent Senator Waseem Salahi and SQUELCH! Senator Rachel Horning...Read More»
ASUC
Image ASUC Auxiliary to solicit potential vendors to fil...
While the formal lease for the third-party...Read More»
ASUC
Image ASUC Arts and Creativity Fund could be removed due...
The future of the ASUC Arts and Creativity...Read More»
ASUC
Image ASUC Senate approves Hedy Chen to serve on Store O...
Hedy Chen, a sophomore majoring in business admini...Read More»
ASUC
Image ASUC Senate to consider bill proposing changes to ...
An ASUC Senate bill that would seek to amend the...Read More»
ASUC
Image Student Action sweeps soundly
The Student Action party not only swept four of the executive offices, but ...Read More»
Right Arrow




Job Postings

White Space