9-16 Sodexo (Kaitlyn Johnson) (3 of 3)
Sodexo employees Kayle Anderson and Nick Phinny put together students’ orders of fries at Waldo’s Cheese Grill. Weber State clubs and organizations are having problems with food policies involving Sodexo. (Photo by Kaitlyn Johnson/ The Signpost)

Various clubs at Weber State University feel limited by the food policies between Sodexo and the University policy.

Sodexo is a multinational company  that handles Weber’s food services. University policy states that any event at Weber State that uses a food budget of over $100 must use Sodexo as a caterer.

According to WSUSA, clubs say they feel limited in the amount of food and the kinds of food they can buy.

Club leaders brought their concerns to business senator Kurt Kunzler, who said they were confused about the policy.  The policy regulates the amount of the money a group can spend on outside food.

“We know there’s a problem but we don’t know how or why it’s a problem,” said Tyler Hall, the Davis senator.

He also said the Senate is still in the exploratory stages, figuring out whether it’s an actual limitation of policy or a matter of not knowing how to work within the system.

Hall also referred to these policies and procedures as “draconian.”

Bill Fruth, director of the Union Building, said he is looking at rewording the policy to make the intention of the policy more clear. He added the policy hasn’t been rewritten since 1984, although the limit was raised from $75 to $100 a few years ago.

Fruth said the policy was made in order to allow students to have parties or events for their clubs without having to go to mass catering. Fruth said the limit has to be in place to ensure health and safety of food.

He added that there are health department regulations to consider as well.

Samuel Hobbs, senator for traditional students, said he had heard Sodexo was trying to control 100 percent of the food at the Shepherd Union building.

Hall said the best solution now is to educate students how to work within the system since it’s what they have. He said the student affairs community will work to see if the problem needs to be solved through a policy change or by simply educating people about the situation.

Keith Murray, the director of dining services for WSU, said the policy was in place before Sodexo got there and it carried over when Sodexo took over the contract. Murray objected to the blame being put on Sodexo.

“I feel bad that they’re putting this on us,” Murray said.

Brett Perozzi, associate vice president of student affairs, said Sodexo will work with students organizations. He said they have special pricing for verified student groups and that they will work with students to keep costs down.

Perozzi said part of the problem was he didn’t think most students knew about the different options that Sodexo offers. There is probably more, he added, they can do as institution to make students more aware of their options.

“Overall Sodexo does a good job,” Perozzi said.

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5 Comments

  1. Once we had to switch to mini-water bottles because, supposedly, giving away free full-bottles interrupted their water sales. Also had to switch to nasty hot-dogs after they complained about candy.

  2. No, actually Sodexo does not do a good job because their food is of so-so quality and their prices are high. This is why we don’t have them cater for us anymore.

  3. Don’t fool yourself, it is all about money. Your university has sold you out and that is why there is an exclusivity clause with Sodexo for all catering services greater than $100.00. In return for the exclusivity, Sodexo “invests” an agreed upon amount of money into the University. For the Union, it is a way to have someone else pay for the building improvements and force other departments and on campus groups to pay inflated prices to support the Union’s spend (robbing Peter to pay Paul)…this is done through something referred to as rebates…most likely Sodexo pays the Union a certain percentage of all catering service revenues that are hosted in the Union back to the Union…get the picture: 1. You must use Sodexo if you want to use the Union facilities (which isn’t that what its all about) because Sodexo gives the Union $$ known as investment or lease hold improvements (known as exclusivity); 2. Your group pays for the inflated prices to Sodexo because you have no choice; 3. Sodexo gives the Union a certain percentage of what your group has paid – other departments are screwed, you are screwed, and Sodexo and the Union are smiling…Now keep in mind all of Sodexo’s profits leave the United States and go to France where it’s headquarters are located through a complex structure of bogus corporate (France) assessed fees. Not to mention the massive volume discounts that Sodexo receives for volume purchasing also known as purchasing income…Food for thought…or to choke on…depending on your vantage point.

  4. Sodexo provides a selection of unhealthy poorly prepared food at the kind of prices you see at a stadium or other venue where they can gouge their customers due to a lack of alternatives. If WSU truly wants to foster a relationship with the community they would invite local businesses into those spaces instead of a French company that operates for-profit prisons and has a record of human rights and worker abuses. Other universities have ended their contracts with Sodexo for these reasons, why so we continue our relationship with them?

  5. The thing that bothers me abut this is that you don’t actually have a choice to go somewhere else if you’re doing a university event. True the food is bad and the selection is worse, but if they really wanted there to be “competitive pricing” they would allow people to order food from cheaper places.

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