by Claire Toal, staff writer
When the college announced the desire to receive proposals for bids regarding changes in the meal plan, Sodexo sought the suggestions of students to shape the new system. While reducing the maximum number of meals per week from 21 to 19, students are given a weekly allowance of $25-$175 in flex points to spend in the new Sunderland Cafe and $15 for Sage Café. Students are also given the option of 14 meals per week with $200-$350 flex dollars, and $40 for Sage Cafe. Director of Food Services, Brian O’Laughlin explained that the decision to finally update the meal plan system to meet the criteria of the schools in the area has left people very pleased.
According to senior Leah Palmer, a member of Farm Crew, the absence of weekend breakfasts is disruptive to her and her crewmembers, who have to work early mornings Saturday and Sunday.
“It was frustrating to learn that breakfast is no longer served on the weekends,” Palmer said. “I work for three hours of manual labor every Saturday morning and because I am paying for the meal plan I do not have money to buy groceries. It was also unannounced. The first Saturday my crew and I went to Glad at 7:30 a.m. and then we were told 15 minutes after that there would be no food until 10:30 a.m. I feel as though Sodexo thinks the weekend work crews do not matter.”
However, according to O’Laughlin, Gladfelter breakfast hours on the weekend are accommodating to more people this year.
“In my opinion we are meeting the need of the greater amount of people,” O’Laughlin said.
The new meal plan system replaces weekend breakfasts with a brunch from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Due to minimal attendance in the past, O’Laughlin believes the change to be a more productive way to help students. O’Laughlin stated that while people may not like change, a majority of students are content with the meal plan—an attitude illustrated in the 6-7% attendance increase.
Not all students are satisfied with the changes in Gladfelter. Sophomore Millie Szilagyi expressed her feelings on the recent changes.
“The pizza is top notch but the other foods offered rarely leave me feeling satiated,” Szilagyi said. “Gladfelter is so hectic and makes me flustered. I used to be able to sit alone in a corner and relax. Now it’s like exposure therapy and i can’t escape the chaos.”
O’Laughlin understands that not everyone is content with the changes in Gladfelter. He is open to ideas and invites suggestions so that student needs may be fulfilled.