Students voice concerns about Sodexho, escapees

At its meeting last week, Student Government Association (SGA) members discussed how the organization is addressing the College’s recent contract renewal with its food service provider, Sodexho Dining Services.

Annelise Catanzaro, SGA executive president, and Jasmine Charl?n, SGA vice president, said they met with Toni Pusak, assistant director of auxiliary services, to voice concern with the lack of student involvement in the contract renewal process.

Pusak said a Request For Proposal (RFP) was necessary in order for the school to seek alternative food service providers. The process could not take place without the existence of a working Master Housing Plan, accounting for the types of meal plans students in the apartments should be offered, she said. The Master Housing Plan does not exist since the apartments are not yet completed.

Leo Inglima, sophomore class council president and head of SGA’s Sodexho liaison branch, said he met with Dining Services representatives last week to address concerns with the lack of student involvement and to propose a meal plan switch day to enable students to change meal plans for this semester.

Inglima said he received similar explanations from Dining Services that Catanzaro and Charl?n received from Pusak.

Inglima was also told that students would not be allowed to change meal plans due to fears of experiencing “an accounting nightmare.” However, students will have the opportunity to change their meal plans for next semester.

“Although many students are appreciative of the new changes, including meal equivalency, SGA ultimately wants to ensure that faculty, staff and administrators look to students for feedback and ideas, especially hot-button issues like the Sodexho contract,” Catanzaro said.

“In the future, as long as communication remains constant with the SGA president, even over the summer, problems like this shouldn’t arise.”

Also at the meeting, many students voiced concerns about the fact that security personnel were relieved from the Country Club Apartments, located near the Trenton Psychiatric Hospital, when the area was deemed dangerous, following the recent outbreak of patients.

Catanzaro said the administration and finance committee is in the process of setting up a meeting with representatives from SGA, Campus Police, the director of the Psychiatric Hospital and residents of the Country Club Apartments to address the issue.

“Through this meeting, we hope to resolve security issues and help the residents of the Country Club Apartments feel safe once again,” Catanzaro said.

Also, Blair Gumnic, executive vice president of administration and finance, will meet Thursday with Kathy Leverton, the associate vice president of administrative and environmental services, and Det. Sgt. James Lopez of Campus Police.

“I plan to address the precautionary measures used during situations of this nature, including how the residents, as well as the campus community, are informed and the duties of the security personnel,” Gumnic said.

SGA also discussed its new election process, which allowed students to vote online rather than via paper ballot for several vacant senator positions, on Sept. 26 and 27.