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The Blue & Gray Press | February 19, 2018

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Letter to the Editor: Renew Sodexo's Dining Contract

Dear Editor,

It is Virginia state law that every 10 years the dining services provider for a state subsidized university is up for bid against competing dining providers.

This year Sodexo, the company which is contracted to run UMW dining services, is at its 10 year mark and so it is up for bid.

It is important as students at UMW that we are aware of what is going on and the impact that Sodexo has had on our university these last 10 years.

We know what we are getting with Sodexo, and we know what Sodexo can do.

If we get a new dining services provider, we will not know what to expect and we may end up with something that has terrible food, service and prices.

As students, we have gotten to know the people that work for Sodexo. I know that if I want the best pasta on campus, I am going to go to Mama Jean in the Bistro at Seaco. If I want the best coffee, with the best service, I go to Connie at Joe Stacks. And If I forget that it is Friday, I am sure to be reminded by Dora with the blow of a whistle at the Nest!

As students, it is important for us to know that all of the amazing dining staff that we have come to know and love may be out of a job next year if Sodexo does not get the bid.

One of the best parts of Eagle Dining is that they always go out of the way to listen to students. I know that I have something to say or a question to ask, I can meet with Kori Dean, the general manager, and Chris Porter, liaison for Dining Services, and my problem will be addressed.

They have always accommodated student’s r, like the request for rice milk, and whenever a comment card is filled out about a food that we love or hate, they always make it happen.

Sodexo is always working with students like the Student Board of Directors, SGA and the Ecology Club. Together, they create things like trips to the local farmers market, Dine Up and Dine Up Club, and the composting project.

They have worked towards sustainability on campus by bringing in things like only sustainable seafood and local produce whenever it is available.

They have reduced their carbon footprint by a total of 7.47 tons and have streamlined environmentally-friendly appliances in the kitchens which are further impacting UMW sustainability initiatives.

Sodexo continually reaches out to the local community with events like the Helping Hands Across America Food Drive, and the Care and Share dinners.

All in all, we like what we get with Sodexo and we are familiar with the food, services and people. To keep Sodexo and the familiar faces of Eagle Dining, we need to share our experiences and support. Leave a comment card in the dining hall and let them know what you think! Tell someone about how you like what we have with Sodexo. Spread the word and keep dining awesome.

Kelsey Arthur, and Samantha Stepanov are student coordinators for Sodexo Dining Services.

Comments

  1. UMW senior

    I think that it is important to consider that while we want to support the men and women we have grown to care for who work for Sodexo, Sodexo itself has anti-labor policies and does not pay its workers a fair living wage, forcing employees to work multiple jobs and struggle to get by. Yes, I support and care for many of our workers – and that is exactly why we need to carefully and closely examine Sodexo before blindly choosing to renew their contract without new stipulations that demand basic human rights for their workers, the men and women we care about.

  2. srushlow

    Laughable. How ignorant.

  3. Being Honest

    “Sodexo itself has anti-labor policies” wow are you kidding me, UMW Senior? I think you should go back and take a few pre-requisites. Maybe journalism 101 – dont lie, and dont take an anti-Sodexo campaign at face value. Also – NOBODY is forced to take a Sodexo job. The benefits, wages and hours are all clearly discussed before anyone accepts or refuses to take a job – its the same at Aramark, McDOnalds or anywhere else for that matter, as this is the United States. If you have a point of view about Sodexo, definitely discuss it, but don’t lie and even worse, don’t make up garbage.

  4. Another UMW Senior

    I do not understand why there seem to be so many voices attempting to protect Sodexo. We can start with this: The food at UMW is sub-par, and expensive. It has gotten much better in the last four years, yet still pales in comparison to other Universities.
    “Being Honest,” you seem to appreciate free competition for jobs. Then why not support free competition for Sodexo? This university should not sign a contract with one entity ever–it leads to high prices and zero accountability. This is exactly what is going on now. You say that no one should “take an anti-Sodexo campaign at face value.” Why should anyone take the pro-Sodexo campaign at face value? That seems to be what you want. The only thing “UMW Senior” was asking for was to “carefully and closely examine Sodexo before blindly choosing to renew their contract.” Anything else would be foolish, and detrimental to the future of our University.