Student Government seeks to petition MATC

The Student Government is seeking to petition the school to lower food costs. They are hoping to create a united front between all four campuses – Downtown Milwaukee, West Allis, Oak Creek and Mequon.

Dianna Herron, recording secretary, commented that this petition isn’t something new, but rather was started last semester under a completely different guise. “Initially when we [Herron and president Okeema Ikanih] started it, it was to get a handle on the meal plan. We initially ended up doing a survey and a lot of students were saying that they don’t have a problem with the meal plan but, in the midst of them saying they didn’t have a problem with the meal plan, they said that the prices were high… So we decided, let’s just try to lower the prices all together and go from there.”

“It’s something that’s been brought to our attention a number of times,” Herron pointed out during the April 5 Student Government meeting, referring to the cafeteria prices.

“We did try to tackle it a couple semesters ago,” Ikanih explained after the meeting was adjourned, “but it was a standstill… I think it’s based on who they go through to get their products.” She said that the Student Government would like to get the prices changed, and that’s what they’re currently working on. “Hopefully starting next semester, or in the summer, we will get these prices down.”

She’s also quick to not blame the kitchen staff for the high costs, as they are just as frustrated as the students. “The person who’s in charge of getting the products, she’s the one we need to talk to… She doesn’t look at it on a student side,” Ikanih stated.

“I would like to see the prices lowered, most definitely,” agreed Herron. She also explained that the negotiating process, if the petition does eventually get to that point, might be a difficult one. “My biggest concern is that we don’t want it to be unfair to the other campuses because every other campus doesn’t have what we have… We would have to figure out how to accommodate all four campuses.”

As impassioned as Herron is, she’s also frustrated. “I can be honest and say that I’m less hopeful as when I initially started it, because it’s hard. It’s really hard. And I don’t think people realize that it’s hard… We’re kind of doing it all on our own.”

Yet  they don’t  have to. A petition is open to all MATC students, across all four campuses. These petitions are available at each Student Government location and the more who sign, the stronger the student body’s collective voice will be. The goal is to get 3,000 signatures. With enough signatures, the District Student Senate can transfer a petition into a Creative Resolution to go before Interim Vice President of Student Services Dr. Sarah Adams, something with stronger language that can be negotiated more quickly and easily. If the vice president cannot resolve the issue, the Resolution could then be passed to President Vicki J. Martin.

To speak with your Student Government members about this or any other issue, students can visit them in their offices: Downtown Milwaukee, M324; Mequon, A122; Oak Creek, A200E; West Allis, 133.