OPINIONS

ResEd, don’t use my lawsuit to punish Suites Dining

It’s true that I filed a complaint against Governor’s Corner Dining Societies (GCDS) and Stanford because after four years of loyal service and an injury at work, I feel that I was fired unjustly.

But having the same fate – being fired – be visited on Frank, Tony, Dennis and Caroline because of my lawsuit is certainly not what I asked for. I didn’t ask Stanford to hire an outside contractor to run Suites dining halls or fire my former colleagues.

In fact, I opposed those efforts back in 2010-2011.

Also, it does not seem right they would make all these changes because of me.

When a worker makes a legal claim, as I have, the normal response should not be to fire the rest of the staff, or to send the business to an outside contractor.

The economics of my lawsuit can’t be the real reason for this change. Stanford has a $4.4 billion-dollar budget and a $17 billion-dollar endowment, and I suspect Stanford has its own insurance covering claims like mine. Stanford raised over $1 billion in donations last year.

By contrast, I earned about as much as one undergraduate pays per year for tuition, room and board.

I’ve heard that Stanford wanted GCDS to have its own insurance, but if they need insurance, they should get insurance, not fire the chefs!

What I would like to see Stanford and GCDS do is take responsibility for the damage this has done to my life and make sure these sorts of things don’t happen to others.

I think changes do need to be made to address the problems I raised, like better employment policies and training, but there is no reason to punish the chefs or for Stanford to hire an outside company to start from scratch!

Steven Roland
Former Middle Earth Chef

  • Rachel

    I hope ResEd sees this comment from Steven. He was an incredible chef, and even more important, a genuine and caring father-figure for the Middle Earth Eating Club. For the quality of meals they produce, Suites chefs should be making much more than they are currently, and Stanford certainly has the money to pay.

  • too involved to name myself

    thanks Steven, this was really admirable.

  • talking about baseball

    Thank you, Steven. This helps us more than you know. We wish the best for you and your family. The Home Run King.

  • Guest

    Thank you Steven for stepping up and exposing ResEd’s BS with its lawsuits. You were incredible as a chef, and thank you for speaking out!

  • JG

    It’s a shame that the entire suites community is losing out because of a disgruntled ex-employee. It’s true that chefs in suites make very little compared to the university’s budget. It’s also true that the university is not the same as GCDC, or at least not yet. All those who say ‘Stanford can pay’, ‘Stanford has the money’ are basically admitting that ‘Stanford’ (ie ResEd) should be in charge of managing Suites, because they sure aren’t going to take all of the liability with none of the oversight.

    I genuinely believe that Suites can be run better by Students than administrators. When the University starts outsourcing and ‘overseeing’ costs always go up and service gets worse. At the same time it seems the only way Suites can remain independent is to make a convincing case that they can or already do manage this liability. Maybe the money saved in self-administration can be put towards insurance, maybe the case can be made that GCDS has less risk than a contractor or maybe the University should just stomach the risk because it’s in its educational mission to give students opportunities for self-organization.

    Either way, this question needs to be addressed in an open and nuanced way by both parties. All we’ve had so far is both sides speaking in generalizations about each other. ResEd simplifies all student complaints to “leave us alone” while students use the rhetoric of “you’re ruining our home”. We need real conversation; I know we can do better.

    It will be very easy for ResEd to solve these problems by outsourcing everything and not giving any detailed explanation because they’re in charge, life isn’t fair, and they don’t have to. I beg the administrators not to do this. If you can work openly and transparently with the managers of GCDS to find solutions before soliciting contractors it will behoove everyone involved. Simply citing the litigiousness of our society, and evicting student leadership angers students, gives ResEd a bad name and alienates alumni donors. Administrators, it will be painfully hard to be open to GCDS, let alone the entire Stanford community, about the issues that are driving your actions. It will be even harder to search for student-driven solutions when a contractor is promising to take all of your problems away. Do it anyway. That’s what what makes this a University and not a corporation. That’s why we’re all here.

  • JG

    It’s a shame that the entire suites community is losing out because of a disgruntled ex-employee. It’s true that chefs in suites make very little compared to the university’s budget. It’s also true that the university is not the same as GCDC, or at least not yet. All those who say ‘Stanford can pay’, ‘Stanford has the money’ are basically admitting that ‘Stanford’ (ie ResEd) should be in charge of managing Suites, because they sure aren’t going to take all of the liability with none of the oversight.

    I genuinely believe that Suites can be run better by Students than administrators. When the University starts outsourcing and ‘overseeing’ costs always go up and service gets worse. At the same time it seems the only way Suites can remain independent is to make a convincing case that they can or already do manage this liability. Maybe the money saved in self-administration can be put towards insurance, maybe the case can be made that GCDS has less risk than a contractor or maybe the University should just stomach the risk because it’s in its educational mission to give students opportunities for self-organization.

    Either way, this question needs to be addressed in an open and nuanced way by both parties. All we’ve had so far is both sides speaking in generalizations about each other. ResEd simplifies all student complaints to “leave us alone” while students use the rhetoric of “you’re ruining our home”.

    It will be very easy for ResEd to solve these problems by outsourcing everything and not giving any detailed explanation because they’re in charge, life isn’t fair, and they don’t have to. I beg the administrators not to do this. If you can work openly and transparently with the managers of GCDS to find solutions before soliciting contractors it will behoove everyone involved. Simply citing the litigiousness of our society, and evicting student leadership angers students, gives ResEd a bad name and alienates alumni donors. Administrators, it will be painfully hard to be open to GCDS, let alone the entire Stanford community, about the issues that are driving your actions. It will be even harder to search for student-driven solutions when a contractor is promising to take all of your problems away. Do it anyway. That’s what what makes this a University and not a corporation. That’s why we’re all here.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Lleal7 Leonardo D Leal

    ResEd is Corrupt. that’s the truth.

  • Non-Suites Student

    Glad you’re speaking up. Do you know, at the protest Nate Boswell said “we live in a more litigious society” and something about “concerned parents”? It’s good to be able to prove how bad the lies are.

Advertisment ad adsense adlogger