Susan Weinstein’s letter to the editor entitled “Stanford Food Trucks Policy Changes” was nothing short of detritus. Now, I really couldn’t care less about the food trucks, as I don’t eat at them. However, I care about accountability. The editorial gave us a timeline of events, for which I am thankful, but it failed to answer a single important question. I voiced these questions in the comment section and was disappointed to see that after three days, there was no response any of the comments. I’ll voice my questions again, slightly tweaked:
1) How much does it cost for a vendor to register with Off the Grid (OTG)? This isn’t just an issue of money. How much autonomy do they cede? Can they continue to set their own hours, menus, locations, etc? I find it hard to believe that OTG doesn’t cost something in monetary or human terms.
2) If you’re concerned about health and licenses, what the hell were you doing before the new policy? Were vendors like NetAppetit not being checked at all? Is it impossible to check a vendor’s qualifications and licenses without having them register with an outside agency?
3) Is what happened fair? Subjective question, I know. One could make the argument that having all vendors register with OTG is naturally fair. But that raises the question, how many of the trucks currently slated for winter quarter were already in the OTG fleet? If that number is high, then no, it’s not fair. Moreover, if it costs a lot of money or autonomy to join OTG, then no, it’s not fair.
4) NetAppetit seems to be an exception due to the guy’s popularity, quality, price, charity and longevity. If you have the power to alter a rule, why not alter it?
5) An addition: Where are the minutes to the meetings that were held on this issue? Please release them. If the devilish details we seek are in there, then the issue should be settled pretty quickly.