As the University enters a new academic year, dining services is continuing with a theme of change that began last year when Sodexo took over control from Aramark as dining services provider. 

General Manager Jay DeGioia left this summer and was replaced by Shawn Monaghan, who has worked for Sodexo since 2002 and was most recently general manager for dining services at Bryant University. Nutritionist Kate Moran also left the University as of July 18, with Karen Jew to take over as district dietitian.  

In addition to personnel, dining facilities are also in a state of flux. According to a University-wide email from Vice President of Operations Jim Gray on Aug. 14, the renovation of the Usdan Student Center is almost complete. The dining hall opened for breakfast for first-year students yesterday.

In his email, Gray wrote that the project is not quite complete, despite the opening of the facility. 

“As in many major building renovation projects, we discovered a few surprises during this one that had some minor schedule impacts. As a result, we may open Usdan with less than 100 percent completion of all dining components, but I am confident we will be near completion when we open. Even at less than 100 percent, you will see a tremendously improved environment when you visit Usdan,” Gray wrote. 

Monaghan confirmed that Lower Usdan is 95 percent complete, and will be fully functional by Thursday, the first day of classes. In Upper Usdan, the grill will not be open until the second week of September. Monaghan also announced the opening of Currito, a burrito station in Upper Usdan.

The Stein has also been renovated, and will open on Aug. 28. 

“During this time of transition and renovation to so many University Services operations, there may be some difficulties encountered as new service providers and new employees acclimate to the campus community, and we to them,” wrote Gray. 

He continued, “I ask for your patience during this period of change. My hope and expectation is that all of these changes will contribute to a more efficient and positive campus experience in the future.” 

“Dining services [sic] goal is to be part of the community,” wrote Monaghan in an email to the Justice. 

He added, “We are here to enhance the overall experience at Brandeis, we pledge to offer quality food and excellent service. We are dedicated to providing top quality food in a nutritionally balanced diet and we take great pride in the meals we serve.”