To the Editor:

Your efforts to right the wrongs of Yale’s food services are laudable and quite in order, but your indignation over privatization and profit-seeking are severely misplaced. The Yale Daily News’ assertion that “Profits cut into food quality” (“In Aramark kitchen, less is spent on food,” 2/27) misses the point.

Residential college meals are not mediocre because they are managed by a “private company” trying “to make money.” Rather, they are mediocre because Yale grants Aramark a broad concession — and then forces its students to purchase Aramark’s full product at full price. As it stands, most on-campus Yalies have no way to “vote with their feet” — short of skipping meals and still paying for them — and Aramark has no incentive to improve its mediocre food. If we wanted better meals, we would expose our dining services to more market forces, not fewer.

Rather than vilifying profit-seeking, we would force corporations to act like corporations — that is, to seek profits from actual consumers. Imagine a management whose success rested on serving what students actually liked and staying open when students actually ate. That would be a step towards better meals.

Schuyler Schouten ’03

February 27, 2001