Possible changes to campus dining service
Responding to multiple concerns raised by students last spring on the Student Satisfaction survey concerning the on-campus dining experience, Minot State University’s Student Government Association and the Residence Hall Association will continue to address issues brought up by students.
The committee focuses on topics concerning the quality and selection of the food available in the Beaver Creek Cafe as well as the hours the cafe is open, which students raised multiple concerns about.
“It was pretty much the main motivator as to why I moved off campus,” Layn Sarsten, a broadcasting major, said, while discussing the quality of food served by Sodexo. “There were days I would eat, and I just feel sick to my stomach and, it would happen way too often.”
One area of concern for students has been food quality and preparation, which has been good at times but also lacking in other areas.
“I remember perfectly one day. I opened a biscuit and it was literally not even finished. It was golden brown on the outside and that was it. It was disgusting,” Steven Torres, a third-year student, said.
“Somehow, someway they managed to screw up chicken nuggets. Like you bite into it and it’s all just fatty and just chewy grossness,” Sarsten said.
With students living on campus having to purchase a meal plan, the SGA and RHA committee is attempting to making changes to the dining experience to ensure that students get the best possible service for their money.
“It’s crazy expensive, like how much their charging us over what they serve us — it just doesn’t make sense,” Torres said.
Patrick Friley, Sodexo general manager, looks forward to continuing conversations about the dining experience.
“We're excited to meet with student groups, which we’ve done in the past, especially this group because it is the first dining committee led by SGA,” Friley said.
When asked about student complaints about food preparation, Friley said he was unaware of undercooked food.
“That hasn’t been brought to my attention, but if something like that does occur the student can file a complaint about it and we’ll try and figure out how it happened and take care of it,” Friley said. “We have a rigorous food safety procedure, and we retrain our staff twice a year on things like safety and proper handling of food, plus our new staff goes through training as well.”
Food selection has also been a topic of discussion for students who live on campus and eat there on a regular basis. For students who are vegetarians or who like to be gluten free, there are options available.
“We used to have a vegetarian station but we threw away more food then we served so now we rotate it in and out with other offerings, and we have an entire freezer of gluten free, if you go to our Bite app you can see our menu and receive news,” Friley said.
The committee has had several meetings this semester. Issues discussed include expansion of the salad bar and availability of boxed meals for students by request.