Instagram fallout resolved

Hamline’s Food Resource Center’s recent announcements regarding its future have sparked conversations between campus organizations in light of miscommunication.


Taleah Alldritt
The Food Resource Center, located at the north end of the Walker Field House is available for in person shopping, as well as pickup. Fill out the google form found at @hufoodaccess on Instagram or on the Hamline website.

Anika Besst, News Editor

The past month has brought news of what steps the Food Resource Center (FRC) and Hamline are navigating as it nears the end of the AmeriCorp VISTA support. This news has resulted in some miscommunication between Hamline’s Undergraduate Student Congress (HUSC), Feed Your Brain (FYB) and the FRC. 

This occurred through an Instagram post from early October on the yourvoicehusc instagram. 

“They came to me with an idea of an Instagram post to quell the fears of a lot of folks because I was getting a lot of students who are coming to me, who are already food insecure themselves and they were stressed about their access to food and their loss of the food resource center so the post idea was to not stress out already pretty secure students,” Sophia Brown, Food Access AmeriCorpVISTA said.  

Taleah Alldritt
The Food Resource Center is a place where any Hamline undergraduate/graduate student, faculty and staff can get stable food, fresh produce and basic needs resources, regardless of financial status.

The post had been sent to Brown who provided feedback. It has since been taken down and replaced with a newly created collaborative post. The original post some found as being too generalized, not addressing the needed audience and, because of this, undermining the fight against food insecurity. 

“It was a really generalized post that just said, we just wanted to say on behalf of HUSC, we just want to say hey, we’re working on this and we don’t want food access to go away in the future. But it unfortunately was just kind of taken wrong by certain people. And that’s why I just kind of blew up….it was very broad, but we wanted to just to put something out there to say hey we’re working on this. But now you know we see that that might have not been the best, the best move,” HUSC’s Technology Coordinator Maddie Swanson said. 

In the opinions of these organizations, the posts from HUSC and FYB approached the issues differently,. Room for miscommunication arose through this differing approach. 

“HUSC is in no means perfect and no organizations are any means perfect and we are always striving to do what is best for the student body, and we are committed to improving and sustaining food access on campus, bottom line,” Swanson said. 

Since the original post, the organizations have held restorative meetings advised by Feed Your Brain advisor Susi Keefe in order to move forward from the event and create steps for any future situations. 

“What I saw kind of unfolding two weeks ago, concerned me because I know all of these groups really are not at cross purposes, they really are working towards the same thing,” Keefe said. 

Swanson believes that the lack of a position and a direct communication line between these organizations played a large role in the miscommunication surrounding the post. Keefe recognizes that these groups have been navigating many topics and concerns over the past year and a half and may not have had all the information about this topic, another factor impacting the post. 

“My perspective of what happened was really in part I would say, COVID has created a period of time where this topic was a little bit quiet on campus for lots of reasons,” Keefe said. “I can say that Feed Your Brain I think initially felt a little bit stressed by that post because it kind of obscured some of the more nuanced things happening over the last few years and what they kind of see as the future.” 

Swanson and Brown are in the process of creating a proposal to share with HUSC regarding a new position on HUSC that would advocate for food and basic need access. This position would be voted on by students in the spring 2022 elections. 

Taleah Alldritt

Junior Kayden Rinzel, an executive team member for Feed Your Brain, is glad the fallout from the miscommunication has been resolved and is continuing and improving the conversation about food justice. 

“We’re asking that like, not only students who are food insecure, support the events for food justice on campus because there’s a lot of approaches like we’re looking at…,” she said. “We’re just hoping to get more students besides the ones that are only food insecure since that’s a difficult fight. When you’re fighting for yourself. So if you aren’t food insecure, we’re hoping that we can get those voices into the mix also.” 

Keefe is proud of the way these organizations have been handling the conversations and plans moving forward. 

“The food access work on campus has been from the very beginning student-led. I think that’s the thing that makes what’s happening on our campus really different than other places. And I think it’s an important distinction,” Keefe said. “All the students came together to find a path forward. I thought that was really an exceptional moment that really showed how caring everybody was.”

There will be co-hosted events about the topics of food insecurity and food justice on campus throughout this week and November. 

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From the person who recommended collaborating on posts: 

We’ve since been collaborating and staying in contact regularly. I’m glad that we’re all working together and having a good conversation now, and moving forward together. I think it was needed, and it should have been done sooner, but I’m glad it’s being done now