Let me start out by saying that you have the best no-bake cookies that I have ever tasted. Including my Mom’s, whose cooking I am very partial to. Even Dana’s chocolate no-bakes are filled to the brim with peanut buttery goodness; soft and heartwarming.
That sentiment expressed, there are a lot of other things about St Lawrence that I could say: some good, some bad, and some constructive criticism. I have decided, instead, to focus on that topic that no-bake cookies fit into – food.
Out of all the colleges that I applied to and toured, St Lawrence rated 2nd best on my list of cafeteria catches. The main reason that SLU fell to my top choice of Unity College was the fact that very little of the food provided to students, faculty, staff, and community members was local. Being both a local community member and a student worker at Dana Dining Hall, I know for a fact that this can be changed. And it won’t be ignored.
In the past two years I have been here, the number of organized, committed students working to incorporate more local food into our dining has exploded. Now, Dana has not been completely rejecting the wants and needs of the students. We have a whole new gluten-free section to accommodate the growing number allergic and aware students. But local food is not a new issue, and not a new project. Dana has been buying small amounts of local vegetables and greens from North Country Grown Cooperative for quite a few years now. However, those veggies make up a minute amount the food served, local herbs are rarely thrown in the mix, and eggs and meat, while understandably difficult to use in small numbers, have not even hit the plates of most St Lawrence students.
The need is not money. The need is pressure. The need is questions. The need is to have not just students pushing for local foods, but faculty, staff, trustees, and community members. Now, I know that the students and community members are working hard on the issue. So where is our support from the trustees, the alumni, and the staff? Why are there no locally grown shoots in Dana? (A plentiful local product) How about kale, and who says the zucchinis need to be a certain length to be eaten? Why, for goodness sake, are the herbs in Dana’s raised herb beds, never harvested? Students on the ground are asking those hard questions. I can only hope that you, St Lawrence – you alumni, you trustees, you whose money is being donated – can help us ask those hard questions. It’s time we take some responsibility here in Canton.
Respectfully Making Change,
Class of 2016