Students are concerned with the university’s food service provider, Sodexo, and Student Government Association wants to help.
SGA officials said they hope to resolve concerns surrounding Sodexo’s food quality and its contract with the university. They have not determined a definite plan yet, but they are exploring issues and possible solutions.
“We’re not necessarily trying to get away from Sodexo,” said Chance Johnson, political science senior and SGA president. “It’s just that when we were looking at our Top 10 list for this year, Sodexo and food services represented about four of the Top 10.”
Students generate a list of concerns every spring semester at Star Summit. Student affairs staff gives the list to SGA and, in turn, they give the items on the list priority for resolution.
Food service-related items on the list include the expense of meal plans, Alvin’s slow and unsanitary service, and the strict parameters of Sodexo’s contract with the university.
Some students also expressed issues with cafeteria food when it comes to variety and options for people with special diets.
“The quality of the food in the caf is poor,” said Eric Capelle, vocal performance sophomore. “It is near impossible to survive with a proper diet and moderate variety, as a vegetarian. Other schools have cafeterias that people look forward to eating at, while OCU has a cafeteria that, after a week, is boring, repetitive and bland.”
SGA officials said they want to see the university’s contract with Sodexo to get a better understanding of the relationship.
“Obviously there’s a lot of bureaucracy and red tape surrounding things like that, so we’re doing our best to work through that,” he said. “Once we have that, perhaps we’ll have a better understanding of how to proceed.”
“The contract is managed by the university so the university officials are the ones handling the contract,” said Nirali Mickow, director of food service operations.
SGA wants to find areas where acceptable compromises can be made to benefit all parties, Johnson said.
“Our goal at the end of the day is to do what we think is best for students, so we’re not ruling anything out at this point,” he said. “As we get further along in the process, whatever we think is best is what we’ll pursue.”
Johnson said students may contact an SGA member if they have constructive thoughts or ideas regarding the improvement of food services at OCU. Students may contact a SGA member by email at email@example.com or Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org.