The student body passed a referendum in the Oct. 12-14 election advocating for the reinstatement of Subway’s footlong sub to the meal plan during the Student Government elections.
This comes after a Change.org petition received over 900 signatures in favor of adding the footlong back after American University changed the Subway meal exchange to one 6-inch sandwich, drink and chips or a cookie.
“So many students have signed petitions really to just bring this change to light and tell the administration that you can't just take away something we value from our money,” said Senator At-Large Ryan Hale.
Hale said he was surprised to hear that the average monetary value of the foot-long sub, $9, is less than the average $12 amount of a meal exchange.
“It was like those series of events that just caused me to go from ‘this is just a weird thing’ to ‘this is an issue the students care about too,’” Hale said. “This is an issue I care about.”
In response, Hale initiated the legislative proceedings in the SG senate for adding a referendum to reinstate the footlong to the ballot.
“The option I took is to pass something through the senate by a two-thirds vote, then floating it to a ballot to the student body,” Hale said.
The referendum passed, with 95 percent of voters in support of the footlong; however,getting the footlong back is still not a guarantee.
“Just because the referendum passed, it doesn't mean the University will change their decision,” Hale said.
In recent years, the University has followed the results of student referendums. In spring 2020, the University divested from fossil fuels after the student body passed two referendums to do so. Still, others pass without significant movement, like a 2019 referendum pushing for alcohol at sports games.
Hale says the next steps include SG setting up meetings with the University.
“These referendums can bring change, but it also requires people, especially the president of student government, to really step up and talk to administration and have these meetings,” Hale said.
Hale said he wants to tell the student body that they’ll get the footlong back, but it’s not a guarantee.
“We give them a lot of money. You know, we should expect something in return,” Hale said. “And sometimes they just don't give us what we want but we are fighting.”