Food service is a touchy subject on college campuses. Food is one of college students’ top complaints, according to studentadvisor.com.
It is nice to know Student Government Association is seeking solutions to issues surrounding food on campus. But the real problem is university administrators not cooperating with SGA in these efforts.
Sodexo, the university’s food service provider, and food-related issues were listed as a high priority during last year’s STAR Summit meeting. The event, hosted every spring by student affairs, is designed to bring together leaders from every student organization on campus to build community, plan the student activities calendar for the next academic year, and identify issues that could be improved on campus. The issues are ranked in the “Top 10” list and given to Student Government Association and university administrators to inform them about things that matter to students.
Students complained about the quality of the food, the price of the meals, the slow pace and unsatisfactory sanitation at Alvin’s Cafe, and Sodexo’s refusal to allow other food vendors on campus.
SGA wants to address these issues and explore possible solutions. But, to make progress, they need to see Sodexo’s contract with OCU, which administrators have yet to provide.
Access to the contract would allow SGA to examine and better understand Sodexo and its relationship with the university. Without full knowledge of both roles in the relationship, changes are nearly impossible.
We recognize Sodexo’s autonomy as a business, but they are here for the students. Sodexo should remain open to students’ suggestions and meet as many needs as realistically possible.
SGA does not intend to destroy Sodexo or its relationship with the university. As student representatives, they strive to fix problems, not create more.
In the end, administrators and SGA should be concerned about the best interests of the students. By blocking SGA’s access to the Sodexo contract, administration only moves further away from this goal.
Administrators need to let SGA work toward finding a solution that will leave a better taste in all our mouths.