Today in NC State History: Students subscribe to consumer reports

January 23, 2015
By Chris Saunders

historyIconNC State has long had a tradition of civil disobedience on campus, with students using the Brickyard as a stage to fight for civil rights, protest the Vietnam War and bring awareness to other causes.

That tradition carried over into the early 1980s, when a group of students formed the Association of Student Consumers to combat a constant social ill — grocery prices.

The group first received funding from student government in spring 1980. “We did some grocery surveys last semester but since the prices didn’t change that much we ended up using the same material over and over,” Frank Gordon, director of the group, said in a Technician article.

499019_CustSvcBut it was on this day in 1981 when the Association of Student Consumers left its first true imprint on campus, introducing a complaint line for students to call and report their concerns and to gain consumer awareness.

There were a few calls the first week, with complaints ranging from a fake magazine subscription service to bad food. “One student called to complain about the food at a restaurant,” Gordon told the newspaper. “Instead of telling the restaurant’s manager about it he called me. This is what I mean about getting students more involved in solving their own problems.”

In addition to the complaint line, the association released a restaurant guide that included “such categories as type of food, name and location of restaurants, distance from campus in time or miles, and impression of the atmosphere and decor and prices… .”

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