Dear Knox Community,
Last summer we entered into a one-year contract with Bon Appétit for the management of our dining services operation. The decision to partner with Bon Appétit to provide a quality dining experience for our campus community was supported by the majority of students, faculty, and staff. Changes implemented over the past year, however, have proven challenging for some of our students, dedicated dining services employees, and other members of our campus community. We recognize that this transition could have been handled more effectively, and we very much regret any miscommunications that may have exacerbated the problems.
We have worked to correct these missteps and address the concerns raised by various constituents across campus and in the greater Knox community. We have listened to all the questions and concerns raised in open forums, on social media, and in meetings with various groups across campus, including the Student Dining Services Committee, Student Senate, Student Life Committee, the Alliance for Peaceful Action, and others. We have seen significant progress in many areas in response to the concerns raised about labelling, food variety and quality, working conditions, and staff morale, and are committed to continuing this work as we move forward.
Given this progress and responsiveness, we are pleased to announce that Knox College will be signing a Letter of Intent with Bon Appétit to begin negotiations on a formal long-term agreement for the management of dining services. The five-year agreement will include:
Investments in improvements to the Hard Knox Café,
Additional Knox College and Bon Appetit staffing,
Fair and respectful treatment of all Knox Dining Services employees under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement,
Ongoing training for both Knox and Bon Appétit dining staff, and
A promise of a quality dining experience for our students.
While we understand that not everyone will agree with this decision, we hope that the community will join together to support this partnership as we move forward. We will welcome your feedback and input as we implement the new agreement.