The student-run news site of Le Moyne College.

The Dolphin

The student-run news site of Le Moyne College.

The Dolphin

The student-run news site of Le Moyne College.

The Dolphin

Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah’s visit at Le Moyne
Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah’s visit at Le Moyne
Kamilla Shahzad, Staff Writer • May 17, 2024

On April 18 th , 2024, Le Moyne College had the privilege of hosting a special guest, acclaimed author Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, who delighted...

Column: The Long Journey at Le Moyne
Column: The Long Journey at Le Moyne
Mary Anne Winfield, Guest Writer • May 17, 2024

I never expected to be a “senior” senior at Le Moyne College. My first introduction to the college was in the 1970’s. I was a two-year...

Theta Chi house at Colgate University
Column: Why I want to see Greek life at Le Moyne College.
Payton Hirsch, Guest Writer • May 17, 2024

At Le Moyne College there is no presence of “Greek Life,” which has left many wondering why. According to Joseph Della Posta, the school’s...

Photo courtesy of Le Moyne; Images of Officer Jensen, Onondaga County Sheriff’s Lt. Hoosock posted at memorial service.
‘A True Leader and Phenomenal Teammate’: Remembering Fallen Officer, a Le Moyne Graduate
Stephen Moore and Aidan Clark May 8, 2024

The Rev. William Dolan wants you to know what the community lost when Michael Jensen, a Syracuse police officer and a Le Moyne graduate, was...

Dr. James Carroll: The Donation that Rewrote Le Moyne  College’s History
Dr. James Carroll: The Donation that Rewrote Le Moyne College’s History
Legende McGrath, Guest Writer • May 7, 2024

In late March, Le Moyne College, specifically the College of Arts and Sciences, received a $12 million donation provided by Le Moyne alumnus...

The Sodexo to Aramark Switch: Recent Changes in Dining on Campus

Over the past few months, Le Moyne has been making some changes on campus in an attempt to improve the quality of life for students, whether that be renovated academic buildings or a transfer to Division 1 sports. Additionally, significant changes have been made regarding dining experiences here at Le Moyne, the switch in food service providers one of the most widespread and prominent change on campus in recent years.

In April of this year, the school decided to switch contractors for the management of the campus dining services after a more than 40-year partnership with Sodexo to Aramark. Aramark’s official launch date was July 1st this past summer.

 Le Moyne decided to pursue a new direction for their dining operations in an effort to deliver better services and more convenience for the students. An April Dolphin Digest email reported about some of the main objectives of the switch: they aimed to “increase convenience and flexibility with the introduction of new cashier-less retail sites on campus,” to create “the ultimate fan experience with flexible Dolphin gameday concessions,” and to source food locally for increased environmental sustainability. 

Another objective reported by The Dolphin Digest was the importance of keeping the “vast majority of Sodexo’s hourly workforce, many of whom had been dedicated employees for a decade or more.” 

Associate Provost for Student Development Shaun Crisler was able to provide additional information on what led to the college switching to Aramark. He explained that this past spring, it was time for the college to hold a bidding process for a vendor to manage campus dining as part of the procedure to ensure that the best possible vendors are selected to serve the needs of the campus community. Along with the incumbent vendor Sodexo, Aramark and Chartwells were the other firms that were part of the bidding. 

A campus-wide committee that included students, faculty, and administrators thoroughly reviewed all the proposals and ended up choosing Aramark. They were chosen because they have a strong reputation as a dining service vendor within the higher education space in the northeast. Also, student feedback was a strong factor that was taken into consideration when the final decision was made to switch to Aramark.

With school having been in session the past month, the students have had an opportunity to make personal judgments about their new dining experience. A few interviews have been conducted around campus to get a pulse on how students felt about their new dining services, the options offered, and the quality of what they are consuming.

The most common complaint was about the pasta station. Last year, there was fresh pasta made to order. There was a choice of sauces, vegetables, and meats that could be added. This year, the pasta station was replaced with a baked pasta casserole of sorts. While that pasta looks mushy, according to one anonymous Instagram user, it is actually crunchy. During family weekend, though, the pasta station was back, meaning that it is likely Aramark is taking the students’ concerns into consideration.

Some of the other more common complaints were the smaller portion sizes and quality of the food in the Dolphin Den, the long waits, the lack of menus, and the disappearance of the green containers. About half of the students polled complained about food being undercooked, and the change in the soda machines. They also mentioned that the staff seemed more grumpy and not as “fun” as last year, some even speculating that the working environment may be different and that’s what has impacted their demeanor. 

The Le Moyne Dining page mentions “diverse cuisine,” but many students complained that the menu is the same as before, except with fewer items to choose from. Though, one student mentioned that they had Middle Eastern food in the dining hall, and a few students said they enjoyed the new chicken and rice dish. 

Le Moyne Dining also mentions “nutritional resources designed to support your dietary requirements,” but there are no signs out on display the way they were when Sodexo was in operation. When contacted with inquiry national facts, the dining manager replied with a link that only gave caloric information that listed the majority but not all of the items.

In the wake of these changes, a Le Moyne student created an anonymous Instagram profile showing unsavory food from the Le Moyne dining hall, which was initially started as a joke. Then, within 24 hours, @lmc_food attracted 250 followers, as it became a spot for students to share their experiences. 

Those experiences include things like photos of a raw chicken, a raw burger, and insects in the food and even inside a saltshaker. It was noted that there were a variety of mistakes with the dining hall under the new management that included not opening on time, no soft serve ice cream station, no bleu cheese for the buffalo chicken, no mustard for the sandwiches, and being out of tuna and chicken salad early in the day. 

The message that the Instagram profile is getting is that the overall food quality has degraded while the cost has gone up. The dining hall recently has stepped up to improve its services, which included bringing back the pasta bar and even serving Greek food recently. However, issues persist, and elements of the dining hall experience from previous years are missing.

Along with the students, concerned parents have started to pay attention to the Instagram profile and have even sent messages to it. Primarily, parents of first-year students are very concerned, some mentioning that this was not what they were promised when sending their children to school. Some parents have even asked what they can do to help improve the situation. As of today, the Instagram profile has about nearly 600 followers, including alums and about 150 parents.

One notable offering that no longer exists is the elimination of the green containers, which were a great benefit and convenience for students. It enabled them to take food with them when they have classes that end after the dining hall is closed or need to save food for later in the evening as they’re working and studying. 

These days, the rules have changed; food is no longer allowed to be taken out. One student reported that they had made a sandwich to go and while in the hallway outside the dining hall, was asked by a dining hall employee to give the food back.  

Previously, there was a dedicated food allergen-free station that had food readily available for those with food allergies. This was not replicated at the start of the semester, and one student with food allergies reported that they typically have to wait over ten minutes to get a meal prepared for them because the allergy station does not always have what they need. 

Another student said that he had a specific allergy and told the worker about it before placing an order in the Dolphin Den, and when he received his burger, it had that allergen on it. The staff member offered to remove the item, which would not change the fact that the food was already contaminated with the allergen. The student told the employee that it would not be safe for him, and she was visibly annoyed and reluctantly remade his order. As of parent’s weekend, though, the former food allergen station seemed to have returned to its original state. 

Other inconsistencies that have been reported in the Den and Kaffe Neuvo include no longer having a toaster to toast bread, no more milkshakes, and the smoothie station was moved and now closes at 4 pm.

Aramark has not replied to our inquires regarding their policies regarding food service and food safety.

It seems that while some students have had a good dining experience since these changes have taken place, and some have found that they are not different from other college dining experiences, others have found insects, and have been served undercooked pizza, burgers, chicken, or rotten vegetables or fruit. Between the influx of complaints and the presence of the food complaint instagram page, it appears that the majority of the student body considers these recent changes to be a significant downgrade from last year. 

However, in a Student Dolphin Digest email on Oct. 3rd, it was announced that there are a variety of new updates coming to the campus dining experience. Such changes include a way for students to provide feedback directly to the hospitality management team, the creation of a Phins Hospitality Student Advisory Committee, the installation of new TVs for displaying menus along with a way to display the ingredients, food prep training for the staff, expanded menu at the grill, the return of the ice cream station, the addition of a new fruit station, activated mobile ordering in the Den, and the hospitality team is looking at offering smoothies and frozen beverages. 

There are various ways to express our concerns on the dining issues, and Le Moyne has been listening and addressing those issues. The school invites everyone interested to take action and have their voices heard. The best way to make changes is to speak out; with the new updates, there are many ways to do that and ensure that our concerns as students are addressed.


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