New swipe card system

Sodexho Marriott, a company providing food services at Concordia, has changed its meal plan for students in residence.
The new swipe card system that has been put into service functions on a declining balance method. Only what is bought is accounted for, so students can buy a carton of milk, and only that carton is deducted from their total amount.
Meal plan is compulsory
Students have $650 dollars to use from Feb. 25 to April 15. Also, Sodexho Marriott will be supplying complimentary meals on Saturday nights starting March 2 to thank the students.
The change happened on Feb. 25 and is part of the compulsory meal plan that was implemented beginning this academic year for residence students. One of the conditions for staying in residence was signing up for the meal plan. Student must pay an additional $2,300 yearly for the plan.
According to Paul Murphy, the manager of residence life, Concordia decided to go ahead with the compulsory meal plan because of the unsafe and unhygienic conditions of the three kitchens in residence.
Since the beginning September, students have been less then happy with the variety and quality of the food as well as the rules put into practice. Some complaints were that food was not served fresh and it has not been very nutritious. Also, meals could not be saved for another time, meaning if a student skipped a meal, it could not be taken later during the week.
On Feb. 8 about 40 students voiced their opinion to two representatives from Sodexho Marriott, Marie-Line Beauchamp the executive vice-president and Marc Belanger, the director of food services at the campus. Among students’ major concerns, said Johanne De Cubellis the assistant director of auxiliary services, were the quality and variety of the food as well as the strict rules.
Nevertheless, the students still have mixed feelings about the new plan Sodexho Marriott has implemented.
“The plan improved greatly,” said Guillaume Veillette, a student from residence. “It gives the students more options and it’s much better.”
No satisfaction for some
Some residents are still not satisfied. Although he believes there is more choice, Lucas de Lima has not seen improvement in the quality of the food. Moreover, he said a declining balance is a good idea but it should have been put into operation at the beginning of last semester. de Lima is upset because meals skipped before February still cannot be recovered and his money is still lost.
Murphy said there was a separate group of students at the meeting who wanted a refund from Sodexho Marriott, however the representatives were not prepared to address this issue.
De Cubellis mentioned that the group was asked to meet with Belanger the following week. He returned to them a balance equivalent to March through May’s payment and February’s payment as a gesture of good faith from Sodexho Marriott.

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