Temple Student Government leaders met with officials from Sodexo last week to discuss the state of dining services on campus.
Members of TSG said students have stressed the need for healthier options, shorter lines and better food quality at campus restaurants and dining halls.
The most recent Sodexo expansion, the Morgan Hall dining complex, has seen many complaints about long waits and slow customer service during peak hours, Student Body President Darin Bartholomew said.
Bartholomew said officials from Temple’s Business Services have approached Sodexo about keeping establishments open later, in order to prevent students from wandering into the neighborhoods surrounding campus late at night to get food.
“We are becoming more of a 24/7 campus,” Bartholomew said. “All of our services need to reflect that.”
Business Services, which controls the placement and operating hours of all outside-owned businesses on campus, responded well to the proposals brought by TSG and Sodexo, Bartholomew said.
“We were met with very open ears from all Temple administrators,” Bartholomew said.
Last semester, TSG successfully lobbied to extend the hours at Cosí in Pearson & McGonigle halls and Bartholomew said TSG would try to change the hours at other locations on Main Campus as well.
At its meeting with TSG members, Sodexo vowed to increase healthy options on campus. Sodexo said it would extend the availability of salad bars and wraps to weekends for both Morgan Hall and the Student Center. The food provider will also add calorie-count menus to the establishments at Morgan Hall.
During the Jan. 30 TSG meeting, director of student affairs Ifeoma Ezeugwu announced she would form a committee to get more feedback from students about dining services. The committee will return with suggestions for Sodexo within the month, Ezeugwu said.
Ezeugwu said Sodexo didn’t make any indication of adding more restaurants that specialized in healthy food, but would instead try to increase healthy options in existing restaurants and dining halls.
Addressing complaints of long lines at dining halls, Sodexo officials stressed that most long waits, especially at Morgan Hall, come from the made-to-order process, which makes reducing wait times hard. Sodexo said it would train employees with new methods to speed up food preparation.
At the meeting, Sodexo did not address the prices of food at campus establishments compared with outside restaurants.
“Students in residence halls are required to have a meal plan,” Bartholomew said. “We need to make sure their dining experience is the best it can be. For others, it’s their choice whether they want to use the dining options on campus.”
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