Student-Run Petition to Remove Sodexo Arises on Campus

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Student-Run Petition to Remove Sodexo Arises on Campus

Courtesy of Kelsie Pace/The Charger Bulletin

Courtesy of Kelsie Pace/The Charger Bulletin

Courtesy of Kelsie Pace/The Charger Bulletin

Lauren Fligg, Contributing Writer

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A petition at gopetition.com is asking for the removal of Sodexo, the Paris-based food service franchise currently serving University of New Haven.

The petition has become popular on Instagram and in the Facebook group for University of New Haven  parents. As of Sept. 28, the petition has gained more than 300 signatures. While many signatures are from students, a significant number of supporters are parents demanding better quality food for their children. 

One parent commented, “As a parent of a freshman living on campus, I am thoroughly disgusted with the food program this campus is forcing on these kids. Yes, forcing. Mandating them to pay $2,800-$2,900 per semester on food if they live on campus yet they can’t eat it because it makes them sick. It is disgusting. Get it together UNH. You are a great college and this could hurt you.” 

According to the University of New Haven bursar’s office, the least expensive meal plan option for students is the Bronze Plan. Despite being the cheapest, the plan still costs $4,640 for the school year. The most expensive plan is the Platinum Unlimited Plan, with a price of $5,910 for the school year. 

Meanwhile, nearby colleges such as University of Massachusetts at Amherst fare better. UMass Amherst has been recognized as The Princeton Review’s #1 in Campus Dining for three years in a row. According to the UMass Amherst meal plan page, their most expensive meal plan for residents costs $6,734 for one year.  

The university offers 30 dining locations on campus and a wide variety of options.

The petition is not the first of its kind, with a similar motion proposed in 2016. The petitions’ demands are similar and reflect a dissatisfaction with the quality, safety, variety, and nutritional value of the food available on campus. 

The current petition says, “This year, Sodexo is also having similar issues at Bentley College in Waltham, Massachusetts. Last year, after a revolt by students/parents at Ithaca College in upstate New York, Sodexo was removed as the food service provider for serving moldy hamburger buns and undercooked meat and chicken!” 

Ryan Bedlack, a junior music industry major, said he has been turned off of Bartels. Ally Lewis, a junior criminal justice major, recounted an instance in which she suffered food poisoning from school food: “The first time I got sick off of campus food was my freshman year there and I was so excited to see that they had a chicken dish prepared. I went to bite into a piece of it and it was raw. I was so disappointed. The next few hours I started not feeling too great.”

Students have also suggested the school branch out into other types of food. 

“I would love to see some Italian cuisine,” Bedlack said. Lewis “would like to see something like a real bakery separate from the dining halls.” 

The Charger Bulletin reached out to the publisher of the petition but they did not provide a response.