Weber State clubs limited by Sodexo

9-16 Sodexo (Kaitlyn Johnson) (3 of 3)
Sodexo employees Kayle Anderson and Nick Phinny put together students’ orders of fries at Waldo’s Cheese Grill. Weber State clubs and organizations are having problems with food policies involving Sodexo. (Photo by Kaitlyn Johnson/ The Signpost)

Various clubs at Weber State University feel limited by the food policies between Sodexo and the University policy.

Sodexo is a multinational company  that handles Weber’s food services. University policy states that any event at Weber State that uses a food budget of over $100 must use Sodexo as a caterer.

According to WSUSA, clubs say they feel limited in the amount of food and the kinds of food they can buy.

Club leaders brought their concerns to business senator Kurt Kunzler, who said they were confused about the policy.  The policy regulates the amount of the money a group can spend on outside food.

“We know there’s a problem but we don’t know how or why it’s a problem,” said Tyler Hall, the Davis senator.

He also said the Senate is still in the exploratory stages, figuring out whether it’s an actual limitation of policy or a matter of not knowing how to work within the system.

Hall also referred to these policies and procedures as “draconian.”

Bill Fruth, director of the Union Building, said he is looking at rewording the policy to make the intention of the policy more clear. He added the policy hasn’t been rewritten since 1984, although the limit was raised from $75 to $100 a few years ago.

Fruth said the policy was made in order to allow students to have parties or events for their clubs without having to go to mass catering. Fruth said the limit has to be in place to ensure health and safety of food.

He added that there are health department regulations to consider as well.

Samuel Hobbs, senator for traditional students, said he had heard Sodexo was trying to control 100 percent of the food at the Shepherd Union building.

Hall said the best solution now is to educate students how to work within the system since it’s what they have. He said the student affairs community will work to see if the problem needs to be solved through a policy change or by simply educating people about the situation.

Keith Murray, the director of dining services for WSU, said the policy was in place before Sodexo got there and it carried over when Sodexo took over the contract. Murray objected to the blame being put on Sodexo.

“I feel bad that they’re putting this on us,” Murray said.

Brett Perozzi, associate vice president of student affairs, said Sodexo will work with students organizations. He said they have special pricing for verified student groups and that they will work with students to keep costs down.

Perozzi said part of the problem was he didn’t think most students knew about the different options that Sodexo offers. There is probably more, he added, they can do as institution to make students more aware of their options.

“Overall Sodexo does a good job,” Perozzi said.