We can certainly understand any ill feelings from Sodexho employees toward last week’s “Eye on SGA” column that reported on vague remarks from executive vice president James Gant that the College’s food service company participated in a program to hire ex-convicts.
Upon finding out that such a program does not, nor has ever, existed at the College, as we report this week in a story on page 3, we were just as upset.
We were also surprised that most of the ire over the remarks was directed at us, raising an interesting distinction over the difference between misquoting and misspeaking.
In last week’s SGA column, we reported a claim by Gant that Sodexho’s alleged program “intended to give job opportunities within Sodexho for newly released convicts.” According to our article this week, Gant’s information came from his previous employment with Sodexho at an assisted living facility in Ocean County. He has never been employed by Sodexho at the College and was unaware of its specific hiring practices that are, to the best of our understanding, sound.
It was a misunderstanding precipitated, in part, by our reporting, but also in part by Gant’s own misleading remarks, remarks which left SGA officials themselves equally confused over his understanding of Sodexho’s hiring practices. Gant himself notes in this week’s story that he “didn’t have the facts.”
When student leaders speak at public meetings – and, indeed, when leaders in the real world speak on the record – we hope they have a full understanding of the facts at their disposal and express themselves thusly, because what they say will, for good or ill, be reported on and they will be held accountable for it.
This said, we respectfully apologize for any hurt feelings as a result of our article.