by Josiah VanWingerden
When I transferred to Whitworth earlier this year, one of the first things I was told was to “watch out for Saga.” Chances are my first meal in our cafeteria was not even bad, but that comment had me on alert and I was ready to complain. So I did.
This negative stigma around Saga has to stop. We have to change our negative attitudes from ungrateful into thankful ones.
Approximately 2,685 undergraduates are enrolled here and more than half (57 percent) live on campus and have meal plans. That means Sodexo is responsible for feeding more than 1,500 students three meals and dessert options every day. It is not an easy job to begin with and the last thing they need is an entire student body breathing down their necks.
I think students should extend a little grace towards Sodexo and consider the hard they put into preparing our food and catering events around campus. There are 70 Sodexo employees who work from 3a.m. until midnight seven days a week who put in the effort to prepare the food to be served and improve its overall quality.
Additionally, Sodexo provides 65 jobs to students who also work similar hours. One student employee is junior Grant Rees, who said that Sodexo cares about students’ enjoyment of the food and caters to their opinions on how can increase food quality.
“Sodexo’s done a lot to appease the students,” Rees said. “Another thing that they did was have this board up on Valentine’s Day where [students] could write their own ideas on what Sodexo should serve.”
This Spring, Sodexo added warm cookies, breads and pastries out of the bakery and works with Global Connections to provide more variety of food, such as Orange Chicken. They also brought back fresh fruit to the menu, per students’ requests, according to General Manager, Jim O’Brien.
Rees also spoke to the quality of food and said that he feels students take Sodexo for granted.
“The chances of you actually making better food than Sodexo is pretty slim,” Rees said. “Because you have to buy everything and if you’re on a low, shoestring budget, you’re not going to buying food that is as good as we have here.”
Sodexo recognizes that it is not a five-star restaurant, but the employees work tirelessly to improve the menu and listen to comments. They do all that they can to ensure that students have good quality food to eat every day.
Stop complaining. Pick up your forks and dig in. Bon Appetit.