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BANNED: MSU Student Gov Bans Cafeteria Trays

Updated: Oct 28, 2020

Author: Emma Crabtree

A new Michigan State University student government resolution hopes to implement trayless dining by Fall 2020. 

In an attempt to make dining at MSU more eco-friendly, trays in dining halls will not be an available option unless specifically requested once entering the cafeteria. 

The bill passed at the December 5, 2019 General Assembly meeting.

[RELATED STORY: “By Any Means Necessary” MSU Must Address Climate Change]

According to the Associated Students of Michigan State University’s (ASMSU) Bill 56-30, doing away with trays will decrease food waste, energy waste, and water usage. The bill points that “MSU prides itself on sustainability,” but lacks this “key policy.”

The bill further aims to help shape student diets, stating “reducing tray usage would improve the health of students by encouraging conscious portion sizes.”

The resolution was introduced by College of Agriculture and Natural Resources representative Josh Grindling and seconded by Residential College of the Arts and Humanities representative Casey Christy. 

During the debate, Christy cited the advantage of removing trays for the Fall 2020 semester. She pointed, the transition would be aided because incoming freshman have not experienced MSU cafeteria trays. 

Junior Logan Coles disproved of the bill telling The Morning Watch, “Eating healthy is an important proponent to my life. When eating in the dining halls, trays are helpful in allowing me to meet my needs. It shouldn’t be banned.”

Coles is studying electrical engineering.

Olivia Prince stated, “I took a class this semester learning about our carbon footprint (which leads to global warming) something simple like this could make a huge impact.”

Prince is a junior studying special education. 

ASMSU has passed measures pushing sustainability in the previous session, one which targeted trays. 

A bill, Bill 55-86, was passed during the 55th session citing the trays which “generate[s] unnecessary water waste, and leads to additional food waste.”

This resolution made mention of the “astronomical” amount of animal products consumed, and demanded more vegan and vegetarian options. In addition, to alleviate food waste, compost bins were demanded in residence and dining halls. 

An ad-hoc “Sustainability Committee” was formed in the same session. It was delegated to “elevate the conversation about sustainability” while using “science and evidence based reasoning.” 

Banning trays is meant to affect student behavior, but former ASMSU representative and graduate Kelsie Luokkala disagrees with this move. 

She told The Morning Watch, “No one should have to go through the embarrassment of having to ask for a tray and then having to explain themselves...there shouldn't be a stigma around having a tray, but there will be.”

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Article updated 1/8/2020 for accuracy.


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