Georgia State’s ISAC organization asks SGA to review the university’s food policy

During the Jan. 29 Student Government Association (SGA) General Senate Body meeting, Georgia State’s International

Student Associations Council (ISAC) proposed a resolution to address the university’s new food policy.

Resolution 1501, written by ISAC President Joe Majica and submitted by Senator Hilda Dwumfour, states ISAC as a collective group of 15 international associations is requesting to bring back multicultural food from non-catering companies in Veterans Memorial Hall during their events.

A newly enforced Georgia State policy requires that all food at student organization events must come from licensed catering companies or through Panther Dining, according to the resolution.

“The International Student Associations Council sees food as a fundamental part of all cultures and a fantastic way to promote multiculturalism at Georgia State and ordering authentic traditional food from various countries throughout Panther Dining is virtually impossible since they do not have the expertise to properly prepare dishes,” the resolution states.

Majica said he and other ISAC members are trying to defend years of culture and tradition the council has brought to Georgia State.

“So I went up to a lot of people with the bill as we were defending a lot of years of culture and a lot of years we have established of tradition,” he said. “We have always used Dahlberg Hall as our main location for these events so we could bring outside food because other places like the Student Center really restrict that on us.”

During the reading of the proposal Majica prompted SGA by asking, “Why fix what’s not broken?”

“We [as an organization] have never had any incidents of foodborne illness; we’ve never had anyone complain about the food and everyone enjoyed the meals and the programming,” he said. “So with the proposal of taking the outside food away it’s like they [the university] is fixing something as if there’s something wrong with it when there’s really nothing wrong with it. It’s something that we’ve been doing for years and all of a sudden we have this policy put forth.”

SGA Executive Vice President (EVP) Sebastian Parra said this was the first time he saw an outside organization reach out to senators in order to sponsor a bill.

“I loved when ISAC individuals stood up to support it [the resolution],” he said. “It shows a level of engagement that we are really hoping for. We have been hoping for a level of engagement from students with SGA.”

SGA resolutions are not binding but it opens the door for conversations between the organization and administration for students, according to Parra.

“If we can continue this it would be great for things like the merger, for SaveWRAS,” he said. “This is what we [SGA] are for.”

SGA Advisor and Director of the Student*University Center said the proposed resolution would be discussed at the Feb. 5 Student*University Center Advisory Board meeting.

Majica said there will be various members of SGA in the following weeks to discuss the resolution and make any necessary changes if needed.

“In the event that this does not go through [and] in terms of the reaction from the students, they will definitely be upset about it because as I mentioned in my speech it [the new policy] took away a lot of the essence and soul that a lot of the students put forth into making the event and making the food,” Majica said.