A recent change made by Food Services management to relocate Lucinda’s employee Lolly Karpenski was met with protest and a petition from nearly 200 Lawrence students this past week. The petition read, “Why it is not logical to move Lolly Karpenski from Lucinda’s to Downer,” and in bullet points noted, “ Lucinda’s is notorious for being short staffed, so removing one of its most valuable workers from Lucy’s will only create more problems and undue stress for the remaining workers.
“The character and quality of Lucinda’s is mainly due to the wonderful work environment and work ethic created by the managerial talents of Lolly. To remove Lolly from Lucinda’s would unnecessarily jeopardize what we have come to love and expect from Lucinda’s.
“Lolly would be working at Downer’s Bakery, which is arguably the best department in Downer. Why remove needed talents form Lucinda’s to aid a department that is already doing well?”
The petition also stated, “Lawrence University Food Services claims to have the best interests of the Student Body in mind. We, the Student Body, object to Lolly being removed from Lucinda’s in any way, shape or fashion and demand that Food Services live up to its claim that it cares about student opinions and allow Lolly Karpenski to remain in Lucinda’s.”
The petition, penned by student Courtney Miller, asked for student names and e-mail addresses and had over 180 signatures by Sunday evening.
According to Miller, a former administrative student supervisor of Lucinda’s and Downer, her decision to write a petition and campaign to keep Lolly at Lucinda’s was prompted by Karpenski’s recent reappointment to the Downer Bakery.
Citing Karpenski’s duties at Lucinda’s as helping in the bakery, decorating, creating menus and displays, and constructing a soup and dessert bar for Lucinda’s, Miller claims that moving Karpenski from a position where “she is pretty much in charge of Lucy’s” to the Downer bakery, a department Miller believes is already strong, “makes no sense.”
Miller added: “With Lolly there, Lucy’s was incredibly successful. I was told the move will improve Downer’s bakery, which is its best part. When you go picking around for food there, you say ‘this is gross,’ and go have dessert.”
According to Miller, Karpenski began her new job on Monday, May 6, and was told by Food Services Administration to move her personal belongings, which included the soup and dessert bars she built for Lucinda’s.
In addition to creating the petition, Miller also met with Director of Food Services William Fortune, Vice President for Business Affairs and Administration Bill Hodgkiss, Rex Myers (in place of Dean of Student Academic Services Martha Hemwall), and President Rik Warch to inform them of her petition, and to discuss Karpenski’s reappointment.
When asked to comment on the petition and Karpenski’s relocation to Downer, Fortune denied knowledge of the petition and said, “A number of changes have been made among Food Services managers to improve services, and this is just another one of the changes we decided to make.”
Assistant Director of Food Services Donna Krippner declined to comment on the situation. Lolly Karpenski was unable to be reached for comment.