i. About Us

What is our purpose?

Our purpose is simple: to restore the Wholefoods Collective as the organisational managers of the Wholefoods space in its entirety, as set out by the Monash Student Association (MSA) Constitution and the Wholefoods Constitution.

Specifically, we feel the Monash Student Council has breached the following parts of Section 19 of the MSA Constitution:

(2) to encourage voluntary student participation at all levels of operation of Wholefoods, in an atmosphere of mutual respect and co-operation;
(3) to demonstrate that a collective operating with a consensus decision making process is a viable alternative to a hierarchical organisation;
(4) to create an atmosphere that promotes social awareness and the possibilities for social change through encouraging the use of Wholefoods as a venue for student cultural, social and political activities;
(6) to maintain a not-for-profit philosophy whereby Wholefoods aims to break even. This means covering all costs, including contributions to the MSA capital reserve fund and major equipment fund, and generating extra revenue to reinvest into Wholefoods or to offset less profitable years.

Why are we here?

Wholefoods has become an odious shadow of its former self.

Friends of Wholefoods formed because we are deeply concerned about the direction the Monash Student Association (MSA) has taken Wholefoods in recent years, a direction we feel is tantamount to pulling down the shutters and closing up shop.

Not long ago Wholefoods was breaking even with financial surpluses, lunch time lines stretched around to where the Grocery sits. There were coordinators for the Kitchen, Café, Functions, Publicity, Volunteers and Grocery who were accountable to Collective for everything they did. At different times, smaller collectives established the art space, established and ran the grocery, organised organic vegie boxes, ran parties, had fundraisers. Wholefoods was a vibrant space.

Collective had full control of the budget and staffing (in cooperation with MSA), training, rostering, menus, publicity, and spending surpluses on improvements. Almost everything within the space was purchased by Collective with surpluses: the sound system, projector and film set up, the couches, the industrial washing machine, the coffee machine, the dishwasher, and many more smaller items.

Successive MSC Executive administrators have simultaneously stripped Collective of decision making power, imposed its own decisions on the Wholefoods Collective, and subsequently blamed the Collective for financial loss and mismanagement.

Today, 2012, the Collective, by some miracle, still exists but it has no power to make substantial decisions. The Collective, it would be fair to say, is regarded by the MSA as marginal to Wholefoods, as a purely token and powerless group of people. No coordinators exist. No volunteers exist and information from Collective is regarded by the MSA management as irrelevant to staff.

A shell remains – the name and a few more tangible things – but we have no reason to believe that these will continue to stay with us. Certainly, we never would have thought they’d have taken everything else.

Who are we?

We are Wholefoods collective members, staff and volunteers. We are university staff, Wholefoods alumni and hangers-on ‘cause this shit is important. We are the accumulation of 35 years of emotional investments into something beyond the drudgery of work and consumption.

We all came here once, lost, and we found a home.

Here, we study, drink coffee, learn on our own terms, debate and argue and wax lyrical. We make your coffee, serve your food, chop your vegies, wash your dishes, flirt with you from behind the counter. We are the ones that bring your dishes back, even though we’ve asked you a thousand times.

We are not customers. We are not profit margins. We are not disposable, alienated labour. We are not a sales pitch.


Ya dig it?

Read our ‘What you can do!’ page.

Published on June 10, 2012 at 3:31 am  Comments Off on i. About Us  
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