STORY BY JESSICA LYNK
After a three-year hiatus, Sodexo is reinstating the Dining Student Board of Directors, a program meant to collaborate with students.
“(Because a) manager that was in charge of it left and then different personal shifts, quite honestly it (the board) is something that fell through the cracks,” said Sodexo Director of Operations Mindy Murphy.
The board hopes to evaluate dinning choices, create initiatives for the dining hall and assess meal plan set-up.
“It really is a platform for students to be able to sit down with us, as Sodexo managers, and get their voice heard to get some real responses,” Murphy said.
Murphy also hopes that it will be expanded beyond that.
“In the past and at other universities, the Student Board of Directors had a lot of input with things like dinning hall remodels and different concepts they want to see,” Murphy said.
“Hopefully down the line we will be able to use it in that capacity as well,” Murphy said.
The announcement of the creation of the board came alongside the announcement of longer meal conversions this year.
Meal conversions will now occur once a semester from Oct. 9 to Oct. 29. Students can convert up to 100 meals for flex dollars. The conversion period next semester will be Feb. 19 to March 10. They will try to reflect last semester’s meal conversion period.
“The announcement that Vanessa put out was a perfect vehicle to help get the word out about it,” Murphy said.
These board members will also be the first to know what is going on campus, as well as help communicate issues to the student body from Sodexo.
“From time to time, it can also be used for things like the eggs shortage for example,” Murphy said. “Things (like) that are beyond Sodexo’s control, but when we need to do some educating with the student body — like why we had to take omelets out of the everyday morning rotation to help facilitate being able to actually get the eggs that we needed to be ordered — the board can help.”
Murphy hopes the board will consist of 20 students, with at least 10 consistently showing up at the monthly meetings.
Murphy believes that “this way we can get a good diverse picture of what the campus is really wanting and needing.”
Overall, the board hopes to curve backlash brought to Sodexo.
“Just because a problem is brought up doesn’t mean we will be able to fix it right away, but we want it to be a collaborative effort,” Murphy said. “We will hopefully use it as a vehicle to help make changes that students actually want to see on campus.”
If students have an interest in being on the board, they are asked to e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org