Though Passover is two months away, the Jewish Student Union (JSU) is already thinking about the necessary step it must take before serving kosher food on campus: clearing its plans through Sodexho Dining Services.
It is the policy of the College that Sodexho provide all food served on campus, including at events sponsored by student organizations, unless a group obtains a waiver to bring in its own food. Though the policy may seem restrictive, student organizations tend to find it rather flexible.
John P. Higgins, the general manager of Sodexho, said he has never turned down a group’s request for a waiver.
“I must say that they are very accommodating,” Dave Nash, sophomore finance major and programmer for the Jewish Student Union, who applied for the waiver for Passover said.
“In this aspect, I guess I could surmise that Sodexho is quite understanding of students’ needs to, at certain times, receive food that is prepared by an off-campus business,” Nash said.
Higgins said that the policy is one of the terms of the three-year contract between Sodexho and the College. The intent is to give Sodexho every opportunity to provide the food service for an event, he said.
“I’ve never heard any complaints about Sodexho catering services,” Mulvihill said.
He did mention, though, that Sodexho’s catering can often be on the expensive side.
If the organization cannot afford it, that would be an instance in which it would need to obtain a waiver.
“My goal is for students to be pleased with our services,” Higgins said. “Fighting over an event just isn’t worth the satisfaction level.”
Higgins said that the College’s policy not only benefits Sodexho, but it also provides students with a service.
“I think this waiver allows students the flexibility to interact with us to see what we can do for them. If there’s something we can’t do for them, then they have other options,” he added.
Karen Roth, director of Auxiliary Services, said she notices how Sodexho has been a resource for students.
“Sodexho partners with the students in helping to educate them with sanitation issues, planning issues and portion control,” she said. “They are pretty open and an incredible group to work with in that way.”
Groups who violate the policy by bringing in food without Sodexho’s consent risk losing their scheduling privileges.
Permission slips can be printed off of the College’s website and must be completed with the required signatures at least one week before the event.