June 18, 2019 | 68° F

SEBS?Governing Council debates grease trucks’ fate

Sebs Governing Council

Photo by Wendy Chiapiakeo |

Samir Alkilani, co-owner of Mr. C’s Grease Truck, shares concerns yesterday during a School of Environmental and Biological Sciences Governing Council meeting.

The School of Environmental and Biological Sciences Governing Council deliberated the fate of the grease trucks during a town hall meeting between owners and students yesterday at the Cook Campus Center.

Alda Hassan, business manager for RU Hungry and spokeswoman for the grease trucks, said the owners of the business are willing to work with the University in order to stay on Lot 8 on the College Avenue campus.

“If the school is looking for additional money in order to cover any expenses … these gentlemen are more than willing to accept those responsibilities,” she said.

She said the University has raised health and mobility issues concerning the grease trucks.

Hassan said making the trucks mobile would be problematic for the business because of the high fees it would entail.

The grease trucks have a mobile license, but they have not met the rules and requirements to stay on the lot, said Jack Molenaar, director for the Department of Transportation Services.

“It’s a mobile food license — they need to be mobile,” he said. “We need to guarantee that it can be mobile.”

He said the University property is part of public entity in which they have to follow procurement rules.

Mohamed Garaibeh, part-owner of the Mr. C’s Grease Truck, said the business is part of the University culture.

“Grease trucks are a Rutgers tradition — we have a right to stay there,” he said. “Our business has been here for many years.”

Molenaar said a survey is being conducted on what University students think about the grease trucks and will be used when considering future plans for the grease trucks. As of now, about 1,700 people have responded.

“We are going to release all the results on that to show data about the grease trucks,” he said.

As a public entity, the University has to follow strict rules, Molenaar said.

The lot where the grease trucks reside will be put up for bidding and will allow other vendors to become a part of the campus lot, he said.

“What we did is we tried to figure out what food people wanted and obviously, if someone’s been working here, they’ve seen what the market can bear and they have the upper hand,” Molenaar said.

He said the entities bidding on the lot would be looked at through a University committee that will consider the types of food they will provide, the relationship of the grease trucks and if they meet the requirements needed to fill the lot.

Molenaar said the University is coming up with a proposal to find the right procedure to resolve the issue.

“This is a very unique one, and that’s why we have students as part of the committee,” he said. “We’ve reached out to many different areas of the University so that can have a say [in the matter].”

Although the committee will consider several different factors that affect the grease trucks, it will not include a forum for students to vote in, Molenaar said.

“Doubt there will be a vote [for the students] but that is something we can consider as a committee,” he said.

Nicole Kassouf, a School of Arts and Sciences junior, said the grease trucks are the livelihood for the people who work there.

“They make a living like this — it helps pay for my tuition,” she said. “These men make a living from these trucks. They don’t have corporate jobs. They don’t wear suits.”

By Rich Conte and Yashmin Patel

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