Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Sunday, June 16, 2019

Facebook video reveals bugs in on-campus food services

Videos of a bug in TDR stir conversation about AU’s practices in dining services

Facebook video reveals bugs in on-campus food services

Two videos of a bug crawling through the Terrace Dining Room raised student concerns earlier this month about the cleanliness of on-campus dining services and the University’s treatment of Megabytes Cafe, which was closed in November after students posted videos of rodents in the restaurant. 

The videos were posted by Alyssa Bailey, a sophomore in the School of International Service, while another student, Nyvia Taylor, is credited with filming. The post has garnered more than 80 shares and over 9,000 video views on Facebook.

“It’s a damn shame that there is nowhere on campus to eat that doesn’t have rats or bugs,” Bailey said in the Facebook post. “What is my 65K paying for?”

Emily Gallant, a freshman in the School of Communication, and Daniel Falkovic, a student in the School of Public Affairs, both shared videos of bugs in their food in the comment section of Bailey’s post. In their comments, Gallant said she found the bug in her food from Freshii, while Falkovic said the roach in his video was in TDR.

Bailey’s post also referenced the discrepancy of treatment toward TDR’s unsanitary conditions as opposed to that of the Megabytes Cafe, which closed after multiple videos showing rats in the store’s food were posted to Facebook last fall.

Other students expressed frustration with on-campus dining options in the comments and shares of the videos. Several students questioned how their money is being allocated while others focused on the many issues they have seen in TDR over the years. 

“Every American University student has their TDR story,” Amaya Nicolle Gomez said in her public share of the post. “AU needs to care about students' physical health more than they care about taking our money.”

All students who posted videos were contacted by The Eagle but did not respond to requests for comment. 

Charles Smith, AU’s executive director of auxiliary services, responded to the videos in a statement that acknowledged the conditions and ensured the environment’s cleanliness. 

“We immediately dispatched pest control to inspect and treat the area,” Smith said in an emailed statement to The Eagle. “Our students should be able to eat in a clean and pest-free environment and we will follow up with our food service vendor to ensure they deliver on our expectations.”

AU is about to begin the process of soliciting bids for a new service provider, The Eagle previously reported. If the University chooses a new provider, dining services like Freshii are subject to change and TDR may be run by new management. 

“AU shut down Megabytes over a rat. Y’all gone shut down TDR for roaches?” Bailey wrote in her Facebook post. “Y’all can no longer pretend this isn’t an issue in the places we eat AND sleep.”

This story is developing and may be edited in the future to include more details and updates. 

ggeorge@theeagleonline.com 


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