By Ronna Fisher
Students may have noticed a few changes in Sodexo this semester. Some changes have students excited for their upcoming meals, while some have left students disgruntled or confused. Sodexo staff have clarified what’s new and what has changed this year in the student cafeteria.
One of the biggest student complaints about Sodexo this semester has been the absence of fresh cookies.
“Health-wise the change is good; I haven’t eaten a cupcake,” said junior Katelyn Lamb. “I liked to make ice cream sandwiches with the cookies as I walked out the door.”
“Cookies were the only things I ate out of the dessert. It was the most popular, most eaten dessert, but it is the only dessert they took out,” said Maïa Brown, junior.
Amber Noyes, Sodexo General Manager, wants to dispel all fears that the cookies are gone forever. In fact, the fresh cookies will be back Monday, September 17th and will be found at the dessert bar. A back-order and a desire not to waste food are the reasons for the disappearance of the cookies.
Students have also been curious about the reposition of the dessert bar. In fact, Noyes has two practical reasons for the relocation. Sodexo management hopes to keep traffic flowing in the correct direction by relocating the dessert bar. It is also healthier to have the desserts offered last in the food order. Noyes says Sodexo wants students to come in and see soup and salad first, then other healthy options, before soothing a sweet tooth with tempting desserts, such as fresh chocolate chip cookies. The ice cream machine will eventually join its fellow desserts at the end of the buffet line.
Other dietary changes in Sodexo include fresh squeezed lemonade daily and themed dinner nights, like wing night, Mongolian grill night, restaurant night (where students will be waited on), the traditional steak night and gourmet burger night. Sodexo is also attempting to provide more gluten-free and vegetarian options.
Another exciting change for students this semester is the opening of the 3rd floor Commons balcony. According to Noyes, this change is partly due to the work of Scott Strawn, former VP of Student Development, and Michael Houston, Associate Dean of Students.
“This is something they really wanted, and we were excited about it as well. The process actually began last spring, but there were a couple of hiccups due to signage and administration,” said Noyes.
Students have already begun to take advantage of the balcony during meal times, especially with the cooler weather of fall coming.
“I’m very excited about the balcony. I wish it was a little bit bigger, but it’s really nice when it’s raining because you can eat outside without getting wet,” Lamb exclaims.
For anyone who is worried the balcony is too small to find a place to sit, Lamb and Brown encourage students to be brave, even if that person knows no one out on the balcony.
“God wants us to live in fearless community; that’s what’s so great about attending a Christian university. You shouldn’t ever be afraid,” says Lamb.
Sodexo tends to have a bad rap amongst students, but Brown points out positive aspects of Sodexo that are often forgotten:
“The staff is awesome. I’ve always liked the environment up there. It’s big and open and not too loud or crowded. They are always willing to listen and accept suggestions, too. They take student suggestions seriously.”
Along with providing multiple places for students to make suggestions or leave comments, Sodexo is also putting together a SNU Dining Food Force, a student-faculty forum.
“We are looking for bright and motivated representatives of the SNU student body to join a monthly forum bringing both stories of success, as well as opportunities to better fit the students dietary expectations,” said Executive Chef Ian Wagner.
If you think you have some great ideas on how to better improve Sodexo, Food Force is currently taking applications; they can be found in the 3rd floor office.