Student Advisory Council grapples with Sodexo service, lousy laundry logistics and much more

On Feb. 4, the President’s Student Advisory Council held its first meeting of the semester.

We welcomed Tom Fondakowski to discuss an issue that was brought up last semester concerning food accessibility to athletes and other students. Because practices often bleed into dinner time, the current solution has been to issue meal equivalency vouchers for athletes to access during late night. The bigger issue, however, is misuse of the vouchers, as well as the concern that athletes are getting special treatment when other students also have a hard time accessing meals throughout the day, whether it be because class schedules or working periods.

Fondakowski expressed Sodexo’s commitment to making sure students have the meals they need and paid for with their meal plans.

One resource he said that has gained popularity – but still not used to its full potential – is the Ecoware Program. Students with meal plans can take containers of food out for the cost of a swipe and return it later on. Because the dining hall is open for continuous service – meaning between hot meals, students can still access quicker meals such as cereal, fruit, toast and other snacks – students can still come in between mealtimes.

Fondakowski also hopes to create a dialogue among coaches, professors and work-study supervisors to give them the information to relay to students about how they can either access Ecoware or coordinate with Sodexo to prepare meals ahead of time or between regularly scheduled mealtimes. Students should also keep in mind the student food shelf.

I think the biggest takeaway is that Fondakowski and Sodexo are willing to coordinate with your schedule to make sure you can access all the meals you’re paying for throughout the semester.

If you want to arrange a meal set-up, you can call Sodexo the day before at (802) 635-1237, or email Fondakowski at [email protected] PSAC is exploring how we can better inform professors and coaches about students accessing meals.

In other news, we have some updates that coat hangers have been or are currently being installed in bathrooms that needed them. Also, Jesse Streeter announced to us – if you haven’t already heard – that SGA has created a discount card for the NVU community to get discounted prices in local businesses around Johnson and Morrisville. If you haven’t found one in your mailbox yet, go to SGA and pick yours up. SGA hopes it will encourage students to get out and explore the community.

Another important issue we left on the table is that of laundry accessibility. Emily Mixon addressed this issue via email that students in the apartments – as well as those in Senators and Governors – feel that there is not enough washing and drying machines to go around, which has been a big frustration to students. Another is that students are not only having issues with the newly installed payment method, which is via app, and that many students just end up using quarters because it is less of a hassle than the app is.

Johnathan Davis has coordinated with the business that owns and operates the campus laundry machines and has explained passed grievances to the company, which has not led to much change. Another barrier involves making sure the laundry rooms are capable of supporting more washers and dryers. Davis said he plans to talk with them once more to push for a harder investigation into attaining more machines.

Lastly, we began to talk about repurposing the Veteran’s Space in Dewey Hall that is widely left unused. One suggestion that came up was to make it a tech-free student lounge. What do you think? Message us on Facebook at “NVU Johnson President Student Advisory Council”, or email us at [email protected] Thank you for all the student support we’ve been receiving!

Ed Note: Eldred is co-chair of the President’s Student Advisory Council .