By Ashley Oliver
If you’re a student seeking to warm up food in a microwave on campus, you better be able to find your way to the Student Government Association office.
York College students looking for a working microwave in the cafeteria in November found only dirty, broken machines with signs directing them to the last working microwave in the SGA office 1G04b.
SGA President Rachelle Antoine said she hopes to find a solution to a problem that dates back several years. In 2011, members of the Student Government Association supplied the student cafeteria with six brand new microwaves using student activity fees. But college officials and cafeteria employees have refused to clean or maintain them. Since the SGA paid for them, the SGA was charged with keeping them clean.
“Right now we’re looking for funding in Association to get better, industrial microwaves,” said Antoine. “But we have delegated five members to clean the microwaves everyday. I am not pleased with the way students have kept the microwaves though. Administrators should help clean the appliances since it’s for the students. We can’t do it by ourselves.”
York College’s cafeteria is owned by a private company called Aladdin Food Management Services, which pays the college rent for their space and fees for selling their services. But according to York’s Executive Director for Facilities & Planning, James Minto, Buildings and Grounds and Aladdin are not responsible for the maintenance of the appliances outside of the café area.
“Student Government is responsible for cleaning the microwaves,” said Minto. “We have nothing to do with appliances and private companies do not have to clean what’s not purchased with their funds.”
However, a SEEK college assistant Jazzma Daughtry said she believes York is the only CUNY senior college she is aware where overall filth is such a prevailing problem.
“Everything in this school is below standards,” said Daughtry. “It is a combination of the faculty and students. They are equally nasty, and do not clean up after themselves. I am not sure if it is because alumni don’t give back as much as other schools such as BMCC and Queens College. But everything at York is damn dirty.”
Senior Business Major Kayla Webb said she refuses to use the microwaves for sanitary purposes.
“I’ve never used one but I’ve heard they’re pretty dirty with grease and old food stuck on them,” said Webb. “College students are usually financially burdened, and considering the prices of the food, I would think most students would prefer to bring food from home that need to be heated up in a clean microwave.”
But Communications Technology major Edd Paul said administrators should be more candid about assessing the needs of students.
“It’s sad that York hasn’t acknowledged it,” said Paul. “One mingy note from student government that says we can use their microwaves isn’t going to save this school.”
Paul also suggested that the dirty appliances are a ploy to make students spend more money in the cafeteria.
“Students don’t want to put their foods in the microwaves, so they buy from the cafeteria,” said Paul. “York knows what they’re doing. Aladdin gets paid and they get paid, too.”