A Proposal to Start a Section for International Students in the Campus Grocery Store
LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL
RE: BUSINESS PLAN REPORT FOR A NEW SECTION IN THE GROCERY STORE
Within this document, kindly find a report outlining the advantages of having separate sections in the grocery store for international students. As outlined, having different sections in the grocery store for the international students will play a major role in the realization of the cultural diversity within the campus hence work towards the promotion of social cohesion through inter-cultural appreciation.
As a result of the institution, through our professor, requesting us to identify a problem or a need in the intuition’s systems and provide relevant ideas and plans to curb it, I did my research on the area stipulated above. I identified the benefits that come along with the fragmentation of the grocery store to sections and made this the foundation for my evaluation of the effects. My comprehensive findings and recommendations can be found attached through the report.
Receive my gratitude for your time to read this letter and the subsequent report. In case of the need for further clarification, kindly contact me through my professor. My hope is that this report will enlighten the Board of Directors to consider my idea and if possible implement it.
Arizona State University has several campuses that combine to form the larger ASU family. Though found in practically very different locations geographically, there has been an underlying problem within all these campuses; the issue of food and the level of concern given to the dietary preferences of the international students. Arizona State University can greatly benefit from the introduction provided by fragmentation of the school’s campus grocery store with regards to origin and culture. These benefits take the wider scopes of improvement of performance, enhancement of social cohesion and the realization of the institution’s vision at large.
ASU seeks to become a model for the new educational practices in America measured by her inclusions and not by exclusions. The implementation of this idea will, therefore, at a very high level, offer a valid and practical example as to how the ASU fraternity does this by making her policies and principles the embodiment of her vision. The international students’ dietary needs will be included through the introduction of sections for international students. If ASU can implement its vision to matters as basic as diet, what then can it not?
Guided by the mission statement of this year, this report sought to find out means through which dietary matter relate to academic performance and the general appreciation of education at large. For the institution to elevate the graduation rate to above 80% (Arizona State University, 2013), numbers of new enrollees should be increased and maintained. This can be easily done through the satisfaction of students’ needs; the need for segmentation of the grocery store into sections with different diets with regards to culture, origin, and preference forming one of the pinnacles of such needs.
The conclusions made in relation to the benefits of the implementation of this principle are based on the data acquired through extensive research. Research on the reasons as to why students are reluctant in core academics activities, challenges students face as they are carrying out there day to day activities, responses on the issues pertaining to the on-campus grocery and its level of service as obtained from discussion threads on the “Changemaker Central @ ASU” on the school’s website and an assessment of the salaries of the members of staff in the dining department were looked into. The analysis of these sets of data suggested potential benefit areas that will be realized through the implementation of this idea. These are states in the categorization found below.
- Comfort and Variety. The segmentation of the campus grocery store will create a level of comfort that should not be mistaken for seclusion or racism. This is because the comfort will not be culturally separated, rather by having the kind of food one finds at home hence enhanced comfort in its consumption. The sections will also create a greater food variety in the school and since anyone will be permitted to dine in whichever section they prefer for the day, it will also play a role on the social cohesion of the students.
- Satisfaction and Compliance. Students, having taken a meal of their preference, will become satisfied with the actions of the administration since they will be assured of their concern with their welfare. This will greatly propel the compliance of students to other policies set up by the administration. This is because consultation and concern with their welfare will make them obligated to return the favor as a means of showing gratitude.
- Dietary, Nutritional and Personal Health. Some foods in the current grocery system are high in substances like fat that are unhealthy and some students are allergic to certain foods. With the introduction of the type of food a student consumes at home, this will be greatly reduced since the level of intolerance is high when strange foods are consumed.
- Time-consciousness. It has been generally outlined, that it takes a lot of time for queues to move within the current grocery system. However, this will reduce with the introduction of the sections since less people will be served per counter hence saving on time; a critical thing the set-up of an educational institution.
- Saving on Financial Resources. Since the distance firm the different campuses to nearby shopping areas is considerably long, students often drive to such areas in search of the food they are either not allergic to, or the food they prefer. Therefore, they incur an extra financial cost of fuel and parking which is close to $280. The foods from these external areas are also far much more expensive as compared to those sold in the campus hence restraining them financially.
On the basis provided by these findings, it can be suggested that the implementation of the different sectors in the grocery store will play a major part in the improvement of students’ welfare and overall academic performance.
The study that preceded this report was meant to look into the issues raised by students in Arizona State University. These are, by reason, the factors that hinder their optimum academic performance. One of the underpinning reasons was that of the diet provided in the school’s grocery store. It also served to outline majorly the merits of the implementation of the segmentation of the grocery to accommodate the diets of the different tribes, cultures, and races of the international students in the institution and the direct and indirect impacts of the same to the overall academic performance of the institution. Some of the study’s major concern was to offer responses to the concerns outlined hereinafter:
Is there any role played by the diet and nutrition the students in ASU consume in the development of their cognitive development and therefore their overall academic performance?
What actions can the school take to ensure every student’s dietary needs are met to satisfactory levels?
Would the introduction of sections that serve the food in different races, tribes, and cultures in the grocery improve the performance and appreciation of teachers and member of the dining staff?
Do allergic reactions stem from new foods in the system or are they just preferences?
As requested by the professor of the English 302, under the course project titled “Project 4” we were required to carry out an intensive research and come up with a proposal for an idea or plan, identify a need or problem within the school’s system and offer an array of valid suggestions with information to back up the validity and applicability of the same within the school premises. The research process, alongside its findings and the recommendations for the mitigation of the problem, are meant to be later submitted in a comprehensive report.
In adherence to these instructions, this report serves to outline the possible problems experienced in the academic arena in terms of performance and the most logical reason for its relation to the diet in the school. The interconnectedness between the diet the students are obligated to and the problems that have arisen from it in relation to academics has been looked into. In the preliminary stages of the research, the main solution was the segmentation of the school’s grocery store to include sections which serve foods from different nations and cultures to accommodate the international students which form a significant part of the population. They occupy a population of about 6% of the total population according to the demographic statistics (Arizona State University, 2013). This is a very small yet significant portion since most campuses only record an internal student population of nothing above 4%. Moreover, the sections will not be exclusively devoted to the international students only hence provide other students with the wide variety they require.
For any party that is not familiarized with the issue at hand, students have been constantly complaining about the quality standards of the food offered in the Students Union. This was observed from the interviews carried out on a sampled number of students. The statistics used indicated on the number of students engaging themselves with discourse involving the unsatisfactory nature of the food in the campus’ online debate forum “Changemaker Central @ ASU”. Some of the complaints that dominated such debates are the longevity of the queues in the grocery, limited variety of foods, unhealthy foods since only processed food is sold and it is mostly fast food in nature and overpricing hence restricting the students’ financial flexibility.
The main agenda of the study was to find a solitary mitigation measure that is easily implementable and can easily be integrated to the current dietary system of the institution. This, most logically, is the introduction of sections that would offer different types of food for the international and local students. This would easily solve some of the problems outlined above while easily integrating itself to the system and providing just a small financial burden to the school’s administration. The mitigating of this problem will have consequent positive effects on the academic performance of the school since a recent research on cognitive development in institutions of higher learning show that dietary foundations have an effect on the normal functions of the brain (Erickson: p. 34). The findings of the research have shown the chemical messengers found in the brain referred to as neurotransmitters are highly affected by the nutrition exposure one gets. This works under the principle the blood in the body is the final destination of the nutrients found in food since it is the transporting agent that carries it from one part of the body to another, for instance, the brain. Since the brain has a lot of blood circulating within its vessels, the amount of amino acids and chemicals of life like Choline affects the functions of the brain since these substances form the framework through which the brain forms and utilizes the neurotransmitters that are very vital to the conveying of information from the brain to the rest of the body through reflexes.
The quality of food also affects the rate at which the brain releases hormones and other substances in the body hence play a very major role in the behavioral mannerisms a person has; among them concentration span and cognitive capability of comprehension. What we consume therefore has both direct and indirect effects to our brain (Colby-Morley: p. 46), hence we should strive to ensure that what the students of the ASU fraternity have the acceptable levels of each nutrient geared towards optimum brain functioning hence better academic performances will be realized. This will play a part towards the realization of the institution’s academic mission for this year that entails sitting at the table of academic giants in the nation through the attainment of academic quality fit enough for the national arena and being at the top of the list of leading universities in terms of research and creativity and faculty performance (Arizona State University, 2013). The information herein analyzed was obtained from a survey of more than 100 students, personal interviews of some of the members of staff in the dining department, the school menus, journals pertaining to dietary issues in the campuses and the online debate platform provided on the school’s website.
Discussion of Findings
The results of the research activity done provide evidence that the current school diet is wanting in terms of improvement. As a result of this, the diet has detrimentally affected the academic performance of the school. It has also set aside the most crucial action steps to be taken to curb these effects and provided evidence to support the fact that the introduction of the new section devoted to international students will greatly improve the social cohesion among the students, general academic performance, students’ institutional appreciation and general health of the students. The findings have been grouped into four broad categories for better interpretation. These are: a) Most prevalent foods in the campus menus alongside their nutritional value, b) Effects the food as on students’ cognition and
Most prevalent foods in the campus menus
Major information on the campuses’ menu compositions was obtained from the Sun
Devil Dining since it cuts across all the campuses. The diet pattern, as indicated by the school menu is dominated by rather unhealthy options that range from a whole variety of differently cooked eggs; scrambled, egg whites, burgers, sandwiches, hotdogs, pizza, ham and chicken steak. The stand I take is not opposing egg consumption or uptake of junk food but rather, I stand to outline the fact that these foods, the same exact foods sold in fast foods that are said to lead to lifestyle diseases like cancer, diabetes, obesity, and hypertension, occur in the menu of the school on a daily basis. Such foods have the high fat content that promotes insulin resistance hence compromise the ability of the body to use insulin. Insulin regulates the consumption of glucose in neurons hence directly affecting the functioning of the brain. The high-fat content also results to the interference of the plasticity of neurons hence interfering with the whole cognition process and increasing the risks of dementia.
Therefore, there is a need to break the monotony of such foods circulating in the system if we are to curb the health hazards that come along with them. Alternative foods ought to be introduced and there is no better place to get them than from other countries. To break the monotony, while still maintaining the nutritional value of the food, diets from other countries can be adopted on top of the current diet in a substitutive way; the eggs can be substituted for instance by the fish for the people from Japan to enjoy their staple food while at the same time providing the protein provided by eggs. In fact, fish has omega 3 fats that are very vital in the reduction of inflammation and development of optimum environments for the functioning of the brain. This is just one example of how the introduction of the section of the international students’ section in the grocery store improves both the dietary standards and the cognitive capability of the students.
- Effects of the food on cognition
Anatomical sciences have shown that there is a very specific pattern observed in the relation of homeostatic and digestive organs to cognition. In fact, the effects a diet has on the cognition of a person are realized way before the feeding process starts, through sight that changes the emotional state of the brain. Once consumption of food begins, there is a release of hormones called peptides, an example being insulin, that move to the part of the brain called the hypothalamus and the hippocampus that initiates the movement of impulses within the body that result to the cognitive functions of the brain like understanding that one has to eat, has to read, has to hurry up and keep time and so on. The same process takes place with regards to memory. Therefore, the diet of a person largely determines the speed at which impulses are sent to the brain and how they are interpreted. The diagram below outlines this process.
Figure 1.The process through which food and diet affect cognitive abilities in man retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2805706/figure/F1/
With the current diet being full of food that students consider boring due to the monotony and the fact that it is processed food and not fresh produce, students’ cognitive abilities are impaired. The brain needs equilibrium of fatty acids like omega 3 for it to function at an optimum rate. When the equilibrium is distorted mental health is compromised one way or another. This is the case when there is constant consumption of the foods that dominate the current diet system; full of pizza, hamburgers, sandwiches and hotdog options as opposed to healthier foods like fish and nuts. The foods are very high in fat content hence alter the chemical conditions of the brain. This leads to loss of focus hence reduction of concentration spans and memory. These are very crucial elements in the learning environment hence the diet system can be said to inhibit academic performance.
A survey was carried on a hundred students sampled selectively according to their race, culture or origin. Form the demographic distributions of the races in the ASU family, the participants were chosen in accordance to the ratio of their distribution in the school as provided in the school’s website. For instance, the population of whites in ASU in at around 60% of the total population hence the participants were around that figure (58 out of 100). Since the gender distribution of the school is at 50% for both, the issue of gender was not put into concern. Below is a pie chart showing the distribution of the participants in terms of race.
Figure 2. The distribution of participants with regards to race. (Arizona State University Website).
Out of the 100 participants that took part in the study, 75 were certain that the introduction of the section for international students will serve as a solution to their concerns. This would be in terms of increasing the variety of food in the menu, reducing the queues, improving heritage and loyalty in the school and encourage performance academically. All these improvements aim towards making Arizona State University the best institution for higher learning at a national level. Below is a graph of the spread of the support given to this motion with regards to race in the school.
Figure 3.Distribution of the Support the Students had for the Proposal with regards to Race and culture.
From this graph, it can be seen that most participants supported the notion of introducing the section for international students in the grocery store. Majority of the participants that are seen to oppose the notion did not actually oppose the idea. They did not have a stand in the discourse. To them, the issue was not something they could offer valid contribution toward so they opted to pass on it.
Conclusion and Recommendations
From the data obtained, it is safe to conclude that the students of Arizona State University are not satisfied by their diet hence the diet needs more enhancements. These enhancements will cover the diversity of the food available to the students, sensitize more on the allergic rates of the students and reduce on the food that appears to be mainly junk food. The research also deems it possible to conclude that there is indeed a relationship between the cognition of students and their diet. Therefore, the diet might have presented an academic setback to the institution. Introduction of the section devoted to international students in the school grocery store will play a major part in mitigating this problem through the following processes:
The long queues that have been observed in the grocery store will be reduced. Consequently, students will not forgo meals as a result of their tight schedules that make them give up on food when the queues are too long. This will therefore ensure that every student is satisfied hence optimum concentration levels in classes will be realized and there will be fewer cases on lack of commitment as a result of moodiness caused by poor diets.
The fragmentation of the grocery store to have the section for the international students will play a big role in promoting social cohesion among the students. This is because the students will learn to appreciate the culture of the international students and integrate their activities to fit perfectly into each other’s. This will come along by the fact that the section will not be limited to the international students only hence, on top of providing a larger variety of food to choose from, the resident students will appreciate culture of the international students. Moreover, good food creates good moods hence there will be an overall joy in the school.
The academic arena of the school will also be boosted by the fact that a good diet with variety will make the students cognitive growth better and their psychological perception of the school’s administration will be elevated. Since they will realize that their welfare is put at the core of the functions of the administration they will strive to make the institution a better place and suggest action plans for doing so since their opinion is heard.
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