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Purple Media Network

The Official Student Media of Northwestern State University of Louisiana

Purple Media Network

Purple Media Network

Does Sodexo offer enough dining options?

NSU+freshman+Nicole+De+La+Cruz+reacts+to+the+limited+dining+options+around+campus.
Madelyn Murphy
NSU freshman Nicole De La Cruz reacts to the limited dining options around campus.

Northwestern State University of Louisiana seems to have a limited variety of dining options on campus, and students said they are getting bored of having the same meals every week.

NSU dining is managed under Sodexo, a global leader in services that specializes in improving the quality of individual and organizational performance. Sodexo states it serves 100 million consumers each day through on-site food and facilities management services.

According to Sodexo’s website, their food and catering programs prepare local, fresh and healthy foods that taste delicious and enhance their guests’ experience whether they are at a sporting event or their school cafeteria.

Aside from NSU, Sodexo offers service to several other universities in Louisiana, such as Centenary College of Louisiana, Dillard University, Loyola University New Orleans, Nicholls State University, Tulane University, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Xavier University of Louisiana and many other institutions in the United States.

Leslie Williams, junior nursing major of Loyola University New Orleans, describes dining options at Loyola and feels they could be better.

“I mean it’s a functional system, but there can always be better options, but it’s pretty decent considering it’s a buffet style cafeteria,” Williams said.

Loyola offers students the options of a salad bar, fried food kitchen, pizza buffet or vegan/vegetarian kitchen. Though options are available, Williams shared that not all options are always available.

“In Orleans Dining Hall there are four dining stations where food is cooked, but are not usually open all at once,” Williams said.

At Nicholls State University, student dining options include Galliano Dining Hall, BBQ Nation, Pizza Hut, Subconnect, Wild Blue Japanese Kitchen, Chick-fil-A, The Grid, Geaux Nutrition and The Brew.

Jaycee Bennet, junior accounting major at Nicholls State University, feels that Nicholls provides students with more than enough dining options.

“I feel there are more than enough options are provided for students,” Bennett said. “It is super convenient that I can use my munch money at The Grid (the convenience store that sells groceries), this is what helps me to stay healthy while still using my meal plan.”

At Nicholls, separate meal plans are offered for residents, commuters and faculty.

Resident meal plans range on levels of Bronze, Silver and Gold which include the options of meal swipes at Galliano Dining Hall or a sum of money to be spent at any dining option on campus called Munch Money. There is also the option of an unlimited meal plan with unlimited meal swipes and 213 dollars in Munch Money per semester.

The last option, which Bennett has, is specifically for residents from Brady Apartments with 60 credit hours or more called the Brady Declining Balance which only includes 642 dollars in Munch Money.

The only change Bennett would like to see in Nicholls dining options is flexibility with purchasing meal plans.

“I feel that we should be able to not have a meal plan as residents,” Bennett said. “I would obviously still buy on campus food without one, but with a meal plan, I feel forced to only eat on campus.”

The Cypress Dining Room at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette offers several different food stations for students. Emily Kellogg, sophomore hospitality management major at ULL, shared that though options are offered, she feels there are not enough options.

“I don’t think there are enough options for students, there is only one real food place in our union besides the cafeteria and even within the cafeteria they serve pretty much the same thing every week,” Kellogg said. “It gets very boring and repetitive very fast especially for people living on campus with no other options.”

At ULL, students that live on campus and with under 30 credit hours are required to either have a meal plan of 14 swipes per week with 300 dollars worth of declining balance or unlimited swipes with 300 dollars worth of declining balance.

Students that live on campus and with above 30 credit hours, but below 60 credit hours, have an additional option plan which consists of five meal swipes per week with 300 dollars of declining balance.

Students with 60 credit hours are not required to have a meal plan, but still have the option to purchase one or set a preferred amount for a declining balance.

“I think the quality of the food should change, as well as giving students more options, especially within the actual cafeteria,” Kellogg said. “The hours of when they serve food aren’t the best either; they serve lunch till 2 and until dinner at 5 you can only get salad and burgers so if you have class and can’t get there till 2 you have even more limited options.”

Sodexo services at NSU offer six dining options on campus: Iberville Dining Hall, Vic’s, Steak n’ Shake, Cafe DeMon, Fork Stop and Chick-fil-A. Students are able to dine at Iberville Dining Hall using a meal plan with swipes, while all other options are accessed using declining balance.

Dorcia Gilliam, NSU freshman music education major, enjoys the dining options on campus, but found herself getting the same thing every time she goes.

“Iberville is good to go to when I’m in the dorm in between classes, because it’s close, but I’m always getting the same thing,” Gilliam said. “Whenever I get bored of the dining options, I just go off campus.”

Students often resort to Vic’s in Friedman Student Union Building as an alternative when rushing between classes.

Hailey Rachal, a freshman early education major, shared her opinion on dining services.

“It gets tiring eating at the same two fast food places, because it’s the only two places with the declining balance, so whenever they’re closed I just have to resort to the dining hall,” Rachal said.

Students trying to live a healthy and active lifestyle have issues with the lack of options that fit their everyday diet. Chick-fil-A and Steak n’ Shake are options for quick meals after a long day, but may not be the healthiest for students looking to avoid the freshman 15.

Darley Melder, freshman psychology major, shared her frustration with dining on campus when trying to go about her healthy lifestyle.

“Other than the salad bar, I don’t really eat anything else in Iberville,” Melder said. “I either buy my own groceries or eat the healthier options at Chick-fil-A.”

Even though students are paying for the meal plan at NSU, they often find themselves spending their own money due to the lack of options on campus. Whether it be a lack of healthier options for a specific diet or just bored of the same meals every week, students expressed their wishes for more dining options on campus.

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About the Contributors
Kallie Bourgeois, Current Sauce - Reporter
Kallie Bourgeois is a freshman communication major, with a minor in sociology at NSU. This is her second semester as a reporter for The Current Sauce. She has had a love for storytelling since high school, where she spent a year as her school’s Editor for their newspaper. Kallie looks forward to continuing her passion for journalism by delivering stories of exciting events happening on campus and in the Natchitoches area.  
Madelyn Murphy, Current Sauce - Arts & Living Editor
Maddy Murphy is a freshman communication major at NSU. Spending her first semester as a reporter for The Current Sauce, she cannot wait to write news articles and stories inspired by both on-campus and off-campus events in Natchitoches. Her goal is to entertain students by including them in her writing, so be on the lookout—she may ask to interview you for a story!

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