Food Justice for Brandeis

Through her Blueprint project, Marisa worked to change fellow students’ personal decisions and her campus food supplier, Aramark’s, service to motivate students to better understand what goes into the production and cultivation of their food. She worked to get Aramark to supply our dining halls with produce from small and independent farms as opposed to the larger industrialized farms across the country, and to expand on-campus garden into a larger farm so as to supply the dining halls with most of the produce. Through this work, she fought for equity and respect for the students who pay for a high-end education while their health suffers because of campus dining options, especially for students on scholarships who couldn’t purchase any food off of their meal plan. One of the most significant problems Marisa’s blueprint addressed was the mitigation of strict stratification between students and the administrators, who make make crucial decisions about their well-being. She sought to ensure that students could make their concerns about the food dilemma heard and achieve recognition and a voice in other campus issues. She advocated for allowing the Student Union President to serve on more than just a few committees, integrating more students into the administration so as to create more transparency. In terms of transparency in the dining halls specifically, she pushed to reform Aramark’s relationship with Brandeis, and fighting out-sourced corporations from influencing campus policies. She worked to gather students from diverse backgrounds around the issue of sustainability in order to have a dialogue with Mark Collins, the University Director of Operations, to begin changing campus food service. In 2012, Brandeis chose to no longer use Aramark to supply their campus dining halls.