The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Christine Blaha out as dining head

Christine Blaha served as Parkhursts resident district manager at Lafayette for one semester. (Photo courtesy of Web Archive)
Christine Blaha served as Parkhurst’s resident district manager at Lafayette for one semester. (Photo courtesy of Web Archive)

Christine Blaha, the head of Lafayette’s dining program, is “no longer with Lafayette Dining,” according to Geoff Labe, the finance administrator who oversees the program.

Tony Williams, a longtime Parkhurst manager and Easton resident, has filled the role. He is the third head of dining in seven months.

“I am looking forward to meeting with the students, faculty, staff, and all of our dining team members,” Williams wrote in an email. “I know Lafayette well and what a great community it is.”

Blaha’s brief time atop Lafayette’s dining program was marred by controversy from the very start. Under her administration — which began when Lafayette replaced its old food provider in June with Parkhurst Dining — prices were hiked, meal swipe options were slashed and students complained of a lack of accommodations for food allergies and religious beliefs. Employees lamented poor treatment, which Blaha denied as employees turned over at high rates. The outcry resulted in a protest being staged in opposition to Parkhurst’s practices. Student Government also voted by lopsided margins to activate an investigation into the contracted food provider.

Some unpopular decisions were ultimately undone. Restrictions on meal swipe usage were eased and more dietary restrictions were accommodated after Parkhurst committed to using halal chicken and more extensive labeling of its food, for example.

Blaha’s departure, which comes just one semester into Parkhurst’s five-year contract, is the second quiet administrative change in the past month – Brian Samble, the dean of students, similarly “departed the institution” in early January without any prior announcement by the college. Additionally, there have been other departures within Dining Services: the head Marquis Dining Hall chef, Victor Caruso, and the dining service’s general manager, Shawn Fair, were also replaced in recent months without notification to the campus community.

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Trebor Maitin, Managing Editor
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  • P

    PennyJan 29, 2024 at 7:21 pm

    If that story was only the truth. She took the fall but was not the source. It was truly unfortunate. The real problem still lurks there and hides behind other managers. I hope the root is flushed out sooner than later. The other managers/ team members that have left were due to poor conditions.
    Don’t believe everything you read. This article couldn’t be further off base if it tried.

    Reply
    • C

      Christine Ruined it AllFeb 21, 2024 at 11:11 am

      Um, Christine… is that you? Sorry, but no. Toxicity in the workplace flows from the top, and she was at the top. She was a terrible leader, and that affected all employees. She treated workers like they were sub-human.

      Reply
  • K

    Kilgore TroutJan 27, 2024 at 6:36 am

    Good riddance to a terrible “leader” who lied to make herself look good, and who treated people like garbage. She created the most toxic work environment I ever experienced.
    When Parkhurst first took over from Bon Appetit Management, they made a big, public deal about keeping all of the former dining employees. And slowly, over the course of their first semester at Lafayette, have effectively managed to drive the former employees away by treating them poorly, or simply inventing excuses to fire them. Utterly deplorable behavior on behalf of Parkhurst. Shawn Fair just freaked out one day and never returned to work. Seems like a nice company, right??

    Reply