Sodexo forms council to address CLU student needs

Rarely do you meet a student at California Lutheran University who doesn’t have an opinion regarding on-campus dining facilities.

Whether it is good or bad, everybody has something to say. Our food provider, Sodexo, has instilled a council of CLU student representatives  in order to help accommodate campus suggestions.

Lauren Blachowiak, the chair of the Sodexo Student Council, provided a brief overview of the goals and objectives regarding future dining contributions.

As a Communication major, Blachowiak became the marketing intern for Sodexo and was approached by a few of her supervisors to start the council.
“Our overall goal is to communicate with the students, to find out what they truly want to make their dining experience better. We want the students to be happy and excited about what they eat while at school, it’s an important part of your school life,” Blachowiak said.

This branch was brought into existence mid-way through the spring semester 2013, however, students are just now beginning to see the changes.

For example, the new lounge section of Mogen Market, the upstairs lounge in the cafeteria and the overall improvement of food quality are evidence of Sodexo’s efforts to upgrade campus dining. However, there are still several aspects of on-campus food service that are seeking improvement.

There have been countless stories of students waiting nearly 30 minutes for a meal in the cafeteria, receiving meals that don’t correlate with orders and finally, not receiving a meal in the first place.

Senior CLU resident Jake Ramatici was able to give perspective on the overall impact of campus dining.

“I’ve seen a lot of changes made in the cafeteria and Centrum over the past four years, none of which I can say I’ve been opposed to,” Ramatici said.  “However, I’ve definitely been victim to the negative aspects of campus dining as well.”

“Before the changes to the meal plan this year, there would be times where I would enter the cafeteria no more than five minutes past a meal shift and the staff would refuse to serve me. With everything going on in school and recreation this specifically caused me a lot of frustration,” Ramatici said.

These are circumstances which the council hopes to correct.

There is no denying the improvements that have already been established, but it is impossible to keep improving unless there are aspects recognized for change.

The formation of this student council is an example of the type of initiative that students and staff of CLU strive to represent. For students who are interested in having a say about campus dining facilities, contact  Blachowiak at [email protected].

Peter James
Staff Writer
Published Oct. 23, 2013