In an effort to improve students’ dining experience and open communication between students and Sodexo, ASB President A.J. Wolf and other members of Student Senate took student suggestions last Wednesday from a “Caf Concerns” booth on Caf Lane.
“This is an ongoing conversation where Sodexo is receiving student feedback and continuing to adjust and change to meet student needs,” said Wolf. “But we’re glad that we get to be a part of it. The question that we want to address is how can we give students the best return on their investment.”
After the conflict arose with Sodexo about the “Bodacious Burger Event,” a later cancelled event where students would need to pay to get a special burger from the Caf, ASB held a meeting to discuss the next step to eliminate negative feelings toward Sodexo. The people in the meeting were Wolf, ASB Vice President Haley Courtney, Tyler Merrihew, chair of the sub-committee for Dining Services, as well as General Manager of Sodexo, Mary Sossaman, Cindy Chappell, associate vice president for Financial and Auxiliary Services, and Jason Adams, Sodexo’s district manager.
At the initial meeting, ASB let Sodexo know that they wanted to help to eliminate the negativity from students toward Sodexo, according to Chappell.
“I explained that all of the changes we have made have been a direct result of student feedback and Sodexo’s desire to continuously improve the dining experience for our students. We all agreed that there are other areas that need to be addressed and we looked forward to working together to find solutions that work well for students, Sodexo and PLNU,” said Chappell in an email to the Point Weekly.
The plan to get student feedback through a booth came out of the Student Senate sub-committee for the Caf which was formed a little over a month ago. The booth was set up for 6 hours where students could write their suggestions on pieces of paper for Student Senate to organize and bring to Sossaman.
“I think it’s really cool because we can voice our opinions and hopefully make some changes,” said freshman Irena Lundell, whose suggestion was to keep food out longer “since people have classes and they miss breakfast and lunches.”
According to Matthew Romero, a member of the sub-committee, there will also be meetings with residential life to discuss the requirement for students to have meal plans if they live on campus.
Sodexo plans on keeping the conversation open by holding open forums in the dining room during dining hours in the upcoming weeks.