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Sodexo may leave campus

Sodexo, the company responsible for Hopper and Palms, may soon find themselves saying goodbye to Valdosta State University. After five years of food service with VSU, Sodexo’s contract will expire in March 2011.
Prior to the fall of 2006, the dining services of VSU were controlled by the school. Since the arrival of Sodexo to campus, dining at VSU has changed quite a bit, including the creation of the Hopper Dining Center.
According to Thressea Boyd, assistant to the President for Communications, VSU will begin the open bid process. During this time other food vendors will bid to provide dining and catering services to VSU.
“The timeline for the process allows VSU to make a decision and the selected vendor will have a plan in place for a seamless transition,” Boyd said.
While Sodexo prepares to hold on to their contract with the school, many students vocalize that they wouldn’t mind seeing Sodexo go.
“Sodexo needs to go. Students are paying entirely too much for the poor quality of food that we are receiving,” Samantha Adkins, sophomore athletic training major, said. “VSU needs to work with a company that will equate that cost of food to the amount of Blazer Bucks we are given to use on campus and that will offer students an actual variety of healthy food choices, instead of just a few that aren’t really that good to begin with.”
Sodexo is responsible for a great deal of employment at VSU. Employees range from part-time working students to long-term full-timers. With the recent budget cuts brought on by the company, many of Sodexo’s employees have been laid off or had their hours cut drastically. The question will soon arise as to what will happen to those employed by Sodexo if it loses its contract.
According to Richard Yokeley, the general manager, he does not know how a new company would handle current employees if Sodexo’s contract is not renewed.
“Typically managers are released and hourly staff are asked to re-apply for their current position,” said Yokeley.
If Sodexo wants to keep their contract with VSU, some believe that they should make a greater effort to please students, especially those who don’t eat meat.
“[Sodexo] should kick rocks. They aren’t vegetarian and vegan-friendly; cooking a veggie burger on a grill full of animal fat is not where it’s at,” Michael Mitchell, senior chemistry major, said.
While the future is not certain for VSU’s dining services, it is certain that students have strong opinions about what they have to eat. Sodexo welcomes the students’ thoughts on their services and tries to make your dining experience more enjoyable.
Let them know what you think by filling out the opinion cards located at the cashier’s stations in Palms and Hopper.

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