Sept. 15, 2014
UCCS food services is like a three-fourths eaten sandwich: almost done, but there are still things to digest.
Sodexo is gone, and things are looking up when it comes to food. But we haven’t made it yet.
Local sourcing of our food has become a priority, and food services run by the university and not an outside company ensures that the motivation for any changes will be students and their interests.
Combining both local supplies and student interests, about 21 Colorado beers are now served at Clyde’s. The UCCS garden has made strides forward in its capacity and involvement on campus with the weekly Yawn Valley Student Garden. Produce produced in the greenhouse is sold to students, and used by food services for its supplies as well.
Student staff in food services has increased, and almost all of us have been treated to good service from student employees. Their composure has been kept, even if the lines have been exponentially long.
The number of student employees in food service has amplified dramatically, rising from around 40 with Sodexo to around 130 currently.
But there remain issues.
The first: gluten free options. With the transition, the amount of options for students has decreased, and no gluten free options exist as of yet.
One further issue is the lack of prepackaged sandwiches in Café 65. While this counterbalances the idea of local food, it is a convenience many students will miss. Often, students don’t want to wait for something to be made in between classes, especially if you have to hike it from Dwire to Columbine.
Prepackaged options are easier and, often, cheaper. Two things college students love.
The student staff has increased dramatically, yet the various locations around campus are still understaffed. Location hours have been cut and opening dates were delayed, and director of Food Services Mark Hayes anticipates that his area will require at least 10 more student employees to properly function, with an additional 20-30 student employees solely devoted to catering.
Hayes, due to the staffing issues, was serving as a chef when he was interviewed for The Scribe’s article on the switch this week.
Finally, the names of the various campus food service locations have lowered their standards. We are now faced with “Coffee at [insert building name here],” and “Lettuce Be,” “Bluffs Deli,” “Elevated Flats” and an anticipated generic name for the remaining of the four stations at Café 65.
While the names will change, the other issues must be addressed. For students, who value ease of use in everything they do, to accept the switch to UCCS-run food services, these things must be fi xed before we turn into stale, moldy sourdough bread.