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Letter to the Editor

Kelli Ponce, student

Published: Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, April 18, 2012 12:04

As I’m sure many of you have read the 4/9 issue of The Racquet, which included the  distorted articles about Chartwells in the news and viewpoint sections, I can imagine that you’re giving the same sigh of relief like many other students on campus. You’re thankful. Thankful that you’ll never eat another omelet from the nice lady in Whitney that makes them specifically to your liking; or thankful to never eat another bag lunch from Theresea, who is quite popular on Facebook; or even thankful to never have another genuine conversation while deciding what you’ll have for lunch in the Galley.

Let me begin by saying that the editors of The Racquet are human, hard to believe, I know. They make mistakes just like everyone else, and as we’ve said before, there are no journalism fairies sprinkling magical dust over us so we catch every error. Now that I’ve stepped away from the editorial spotlight, I can admit that when you’re narrowed in on a story, it’s easy to lose sight of the angle you were told to take. You want to put your own spin on the article. Krista Martin and Ashley Reynolds, the authors of the Chartwells articles, did not intend to offend anyone on this campus, students, faculty or Chartwells employees. Don’t blame them, I’ve been there and it’s not fun. They were told to do job, and whether they did it right or not is irrelevant.

Before reading the articles, a Chartwells employee, came into the Racquet office distressed in search of answers. Why did the Racquet run this article? The blatant truth is that this article, specifically the news article headlined What’s for dinner? Chartwells’ contract to expire, is a terribly inadequate representation of how the campus actually feels toward Chartwells. Sure, as a freshman we were bored of eating at the same places. We can all admit that at one time or another we’ve called Whitney exactly what the viewpoint headline read.

But we also can admit that once we moved off campus and started making our own meals, Whitney, bag lunches and the Galley seemed all the more appetizing. As an on-campus resident, I took for granted the convenience and quality Chartwells provides and the compassion these employees displayed toward me as a student. I’m certain that many freshmen and sophomores do the same today.

I eat at the Galley almost every day and have developed relationships with many of the Chartwells employees. Just the other day, Kelly Jo helped me decide what I should get for lunch. For those younger classmen, I recommend you use your dinning dollars at the Galley before you criticize the entire Chartwells community. Sure, it’s easy to slander the name, and the company entirely, but you forget that there are people representing that name. The same people who make your breakfast, lunch and dinner—have some respect. The articles discussed Chartwells, but it’s not just that Chartwells contract  is going to expire,  the kind Chartwells employees’ livelihood will end too.

The articles that made it to print affected the campus and presented Chartwells in an ill fashion. Students may not be happy with the experience Whitney provides, but by stating that they became sick after eating the food is just false information. If anyone was sick, it was probably from drinking too much the night before. If you can make your claims, I suppose I’m entitled to make mine.

Chartwells has been a part of the UW-La Crosse community for years. It’s unfortunate that we would have such little respect for members of our own community. I believe that we owe Chartwells an apology, not because The Racquet printed two illegitimate articles but because we’re all at fault for thinking that way at one point or another.  

And to my friends at Chartwells, you will be missed.


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