Hungry for Change

Only by fully respecting the importance of the ASUC Store Operations Board can we expect a more efficient system.

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Our hunger for new food vendors has finally been sated.

The Jan. 18 opening of Saigon Eats and Subway in the Bear's Lair Food Court in Lower Sproul Plaza ends nearly eight months of vacancy in the two locations and is a conclusion of a process that began when the ASUC Store Operations Board voted to open the Bear's Lair spaces to outside food vendors.

While it is debatable whether the board made the right philosophical decision in replacing previous tenants Healthy Heavenly Foods and Taqueria El Tacontento with non-local brands, it is nonetheless a positive step for the ASUC to be once again receiving steady streams of revenue from the formerly empty locations.

However, now that the spaces are filled for the time being, it is important to consider what took the board so long. Yes, there were mandatory upgrades for fire, safety and health compliance, but with each delay costing the board projected revenue, the fact that this grand opening is taking place so long after the Sept. 1, 2010 planned date is inexcusable.

The board must not forget the lessons it has learned from the long and painful process it has undergone for the past two years in future projects, and the student body must hold them accountable. Despite the board's influence over vast sums of money, few students are aware of how it operates. This is unsurprising - the most recent information available on the board website is minutes from a meeting on June 15 of last year.

Though we acknowledge the board's ongoing talks on revising its charter, we believe it's time to start seeing action. Members of the board must take their jobs seriously - a responsibility that extends to the political parties as they consider who of their proposed executives would serve on the board. Only then will we see real progress in effectively and efficiently serving students.

In May 2009, the board forgave The Daily Californian a portion of its rent for the office it leases. As part of the agreement, a non-political student member of the board sits on The Daily Californian's Board of Operations, which has no control over the paper's editorial content.






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