Sodexo, the company in charge of Weber State University’s on-campus dining services, is including WSU in the pilot of its weeklong Sustainability Challenge program this week on campus. Activities and events will take place over the next five days this week in the Shepherd Union Atrium. Participating students and departments will have the chance to win prizes consistent with Sodexo and sustainability.
“The main focus is that we’re trying to show that sustainability is very key at Weber State,” said Tiffany Dubbelman, Sodexo marketing intern for WSU. “Maybe students and some faculty and staff don’t realize how innovative Weber State is; we’ve been recognized nationally for a lot of our sustainable programs and events, especially facilities and facilities management.”
Dubbelman went on to say that Sodexo as a company is also very interested in sustainable endeavors.
“We try to be a sustainable company in as many ways as possible,” Dubbelman said. “This event is to give students a chance to see how important sustainable living is to Sodexo and the whole campus and to generate some awareness about sustainable things that they can do.”
WSU is one of 35 colleges and universities throughout the West participating in the pilot program.
“With Weber State being so interested in sustainability as well, we’re just able to go with that further,” Dubbelman said. “We thought that . . . we would be able to do it successfully at Weber State.”
Each day will have a separate focus for the Sustainability Challenge, such as Community Day, Fight Waste and Hunger, Sustainability Sourcing, Nutrition, and Protecting the Planet. Stamp cards will be handed out in the Atrium, and students can get stamps for participating or demonstrating awareness of each challenge.
As an example, Dubbelman said that to demonstrate cooperating with the Protecting the Planet challenge, students can show their bus passes.
“Simple as that,” Dubbelman said. “And you get a stamp because it shows that you take the bus and that your CO2 output is a little bit less.”
Another example Dubbelman gives is that for the nutrition day, students may show that they’re eating fruits or vegetables, or show their gym passes to get a stamp.
“We’re welcome to ideas,” she said. “If a student or participant believes that their actions or something that they did counts for a certain topic, we will probably give them a stamp for it.”
The challenge involves both individual students and Shepherd Union Building departments. Individual students who have stamps from each day will be eligible to enter a drawing for the grand prize: a bicycle. The bicycle is hanging up on display in the union building. For departments, the grand prize is a free sustainable catered lunch hosted by Sodexo for the department with the most stamps.
Dubbelman said the stamps can only count once, though. If students want their stamps to be counted toward the bike prize, then they cannot be counted toward the catered lunch prize for their department, and if participants want their stamps counted toward the catered lunch prize, their stamps cannot be counted toward the bike prize.
This is the first time Sodexo has put on such an event, and Dubbelman said she was hopeful for WSU, Sodexo and sustainability.
“I don’t see why it wouldn’t be successful and why we wouldn’t do it annually.”