Swain is a junior marketing and writing double major and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
As a worker at Sodexo, I have to say much of Jared Netley’s article last week is extremely offensive. I understand we have our own opinions and are allowed to share them, but I thought people at a university such as Drake would have more class than he showed in this article. Yes, I am going to be meta-complaining here by complaining about others’ complaining. Maybe this will shed light on things.
1. The smaller cups allow for less waste. That is Sodexo’s way of becoming socially responsible. Yes, it does save money because many students don’t go back for seconds, but nobody is stopping you from doing so. You can keep the cup with you all day and keep refilling it all day long if you want. Be grateful that you attend a campus that allows students unlimited refills. As a member of the national board for Sodexo, I can tell you we are lucky to have the amenities and benefits we have here at our dining services. Many campuses don’t have a coffee shop, free refills or even a C-Store.
2. Students have heard too many things through the rumor mill. Sodexo has an allergy station for those who need it. It has nothing to do with the cereal. The cereal was taken away because it was going to waste, as it became stale quite often. Who wants stale cereal? So, as a way to make the cereal fresher, it is only offered at breakfast. Every so often, there is a cereal bar during dinner on the weekends, which offers a large variety of cereal and toppings. You will survive without cereal at every meal, I promise.
3. People are faking allergies in order to get food from the allergy station? That is sad. Some of the people who need food from the allergy station have severe allergies to other foods offered and are only able to eat a few things. You are going to be selfish and eat someone else’s ONLY food option? I didn’t want this to become a moral talk, but seriously, think about others for a change. You can probably eat ANYTHING offered at Hubbell, and you are eating from the allergy station?
4. The costs of meal plans are set by Drake. So, if you think it is too expensive to eat on campus, bring that to up to Drake. The prices of the meal plans rise with tuition increases every year. As far as individual item costs go, check the smoothies, coffee and to-go items at Drake. Most of the prices have been the same for some time now. It isn’t like Sodexo is trying to rob students blind of their money — they are just making a profit like any other company.
5. You will find long lines and food running out anywhere at lunchtime. Have you ever been in a mall food court during the lunch rush? How about any type of fast food at 6 p.m.? Or how about the hour-long wait at Olive Garden almost every dinner? There is only so much staffing a food facility can have before the workers get in the way of each other and bring overall productivity down. Take management 120 and you will understand. They make the food fresh so it doesn’t sit there forever and get cold. You are going to have to wait if you want warm food. The lines move faster than one would think. Plan more time for lunch, or if you can’t plan more time, buy something from the C-Store or coffee shop to eat. Stop complaining about things that nobody can control.
6. If you think the food is bad, then get over yourself. You may have been raised to be a spoiled brat who only eats the highest of quality in foods, but you were in the wrong mindset to come to college. It doesn’t matter who it is or what college you attend – making food for mass quantities is difficult. It is hard to keep food warm, to keep it from drying out, to have flavor and to please every student at once. Have you ever been to buffets? One could complain that food isn’t very high quality at a buffet, but people still eat there. Hubbell chefs do the best they can with the many restrictions they have. Be thankful you even have food to eat. It is just food. If you constantly complain about the quality, then you are shallow and have been raised to be ungrateful. Sure, the quality will vary and there will be things you hate. That is fine. Nobody says you have to like everything offered.
I am not defending Sodexo just because I work there, but also because I think it does a great job of catering to as many students as it can. If you ever have specific requests, the managers will do their best to make sure you can get what you want. The extra salad line? That was a student request. How about ice cream at the Olmsted coffee shop and the new mixes at the C-Store? Those were to cater to student wants also.