Quesadilla or Quesa-Don’t-A: Students Respond to Sodexo’s Changing Food Quality

Photo provided by Ross Reed: Students have mixed feelings about the quality of Sodexo food.

Stephanie Lipinski, Health Editor

In my three years at Lewis, I have noticed drastic changes occurring on campus from renovations to new buildings all together. What is the most drastic, and perhaps most startling change, has occurred in the food services.

While these changes are great, Sodexo has been monopolizing the food industry on campus with no indication that it will ever be any different. Some of the positive changes Sodexo has been implementing in recent semesters are healthier food options, such as the Mindful station in Charlie’s, and the Crave events held in the University Dining Room. While some students are wondering when Lewis will get a Starbucks on campus, I am more concerned with the rising prices and the disintegrating food quality.

I’m not the only student who has been noticing rising prices in the cafeteria, and students are becoming increasingly unsatisfied with the food on campus.

“Two years ago I never had to worry about how much money I was spending, but now, I’m on the same food plan and I find myself constantly running low on money,” said junior psychology major Mary Bradley.

I myself have found my meal money dwindling near the end of each week. In an attempt to make a lifestyle change this semester, I have been pushing myself to choose healthier options and create balanced meals each time I eat. I noticed that by doing this, I can rarely get a meal on campus for under 12 dollars. This is ridiculous as all students have a right to healthy eating and shouldn’t have to worry about running out of money at the end of the week.

In my three years at Lewis, I have noticed drastic changes occurring on campus from renovations to new buildings all together. What is the most drastic, and perhaps most startling change, has occurred in the food services.

While these changes are great, Sodexo has been monopolizing the food industry on campus with no indication that it will ever be any different. Some of the positive changes Sodexo has been implementing in recent semesters are healthier food options, such as the Mindful station in Charlie’s, and the Crave events held in the University Dining Room. While some students are wondering when Lewis will get a Starbucks on campus, I am more concerned with the rising prices and the disintegrating food quality.

I’m not the only student who has been noticing rising prices in the cafeteria, and students are becoming increasingly unsatisfied with the food on campus.

“Two years ago I never had to worry about how much money I was spending, but now, I’m on the same food plan and I find myself constantly running low on money,” said junior psychology major Mary Bradley.

I myself have found my meal money dwindling near the end of each week. In an attempt to make a lifestyle change this semester, I have been pushing myself to choose healthier options and create balanced meals each time I eat. I noticed that by doing this, I can rarely get a meal on campus for under 12 dollars. This is ridiculous as all students have a right to healthy eating and shouldn’t have to worry about running out of money at the end of the week.

“I also noticed that it seems the quality of the food on campus has gone down, specifically the quesadillas at Charlie’s. I hate that they are not made to order anymore. Charlie’s is lacking options and freshness lately, and it’s frustrating,” said Bradley.

Quesadillas at Charlie’s have been lacking cheese and warmth because the warming light only keeps them warm for so long. Even at dinner, I have noticed pre-sautéed vegetables for the Wok Bar option. I know Sodexo wants to cut time it takes to prepare making the food, but honestly, I’d rather stand in line and have a fresh warm meal than getting back to my table with a sloppy, already ice cold, dish.

Not all students are having bad experiences with the food on campus, and praise Sodexo for trying to supply healthier options than in the past.

I admit, Sodexo has been trying to accommodate students with food allergies, especially those with gluten free diets. Gluten free products are hard to come by, and conveniently, the C-store now has a whole section dedicated to just that.

“I think that the quality of Sodexo’s food is decent. It’s no ‘mom’s home cooking’ but it keeps me fed and that’s all I care about“ said junior graphic design major, Kate O’Neil. “A little more variety from time to time would be nice because I feel that everytimeI go to Charlie’s Place I’m eating chicken and potatoes or chicken and noodles.”

Yes, I believe we can all agree that Lewis food has it made compared to other schools when it comes to cafeteria food, and Sodexo takes student opinions to heart, but compare Sodexo’s performance in the past two years with rising prices and falling quantity. I believe it is safe to say that Sodexo has fallen as gracefully as possible when it comes to pleasing students. This trend needs to be addressed, or it will threaten the health of many students on campus.

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