Grease trucks may remain in Lot 8
I have spent the better part of the last few days doing social media damage control for the latest “controversy” to hit the University. This alleged grease truck controversy holds that the University is trying to get rid of the grease trucks and with them, a storied tradition that has become a cultural and iconic landmark. While I am not surprised that the media has latched onto this story and portrayed it as something controversial, I feel it necessary to restate the facts. My goal here is to reassure you, the University community, that you will be able to purchase fat sandwiches in Lot 8 on College Avenue.
As a student representative to the committee reviewing all of this, I can say that the University is not trying to get rid of the grease trucks. The proposed plan is intended to bring the current standstill up to code, and that is all. The University has standards that all food vendors have to abide by and a process for choosing whom to go into business with. To be consistent with its procurement procedures (the process of choosing vendors), the University is opening up the parking lot to a market bid of mobile food venders. As long as the entities that apply for bid fulfill all the requirements of health inspector codes, sanitation, environment, etc. and are able to pay the rent needed to cover costs the University incurred (so that student money is not subsidizing their existence), the committee could care less what type of food is there.
Two things come of this — one, if the grease trucks are able to change their operations to align with the University’s code, they will be fairly considered through the bidding process. Two, we, the students and greater community, will have an opportunity to voice our opinions as to what we want in our food trucks on College Avenue. Keep your eyes and ears open to a survey that should be coming out soon gauging interest in what type of food trucks we want to see in Lot 8.
The other clarification I feel necessary to make is the issue of making the trucks mobile again. The claim that this spells the grease trucks’ demise is baseless. The new standards will require the trucks to return to a home base of operations to take care of sanitation issues, like food preparation, cleanings and refrigeration, during the hours of night when New Brunswick’s businesses are prohibited from conducting business. The average University student will not even notice the mobility of the trucks as they will leave the lot after 2 a.m., when they would ordinarily close and return before the average student wakes up.
If you have any further concerns, feel free to reach out to me on Facebook. We can meet up and discuss. The first Fat Cat is on me.
Scott Siegel is a School of Arts and Sciences junior majoring in political science and economics. He is treasurer of the Rutgers University Student Assembly.