Undergraduates gathered in Sherman Function Hall on Monday night to air their grievances with dining operations on campus in an open forum hosted by the Student Union Senate Dining Committee. Some major concerns raised were regarding mislabeled or unlabeled foods, quality and availability of food, problems with meal swipes, overcrowding at resident dining halls, mandatory meal plans and the abolition of meal equivalencies.

The panel fielding questions consisted of Student Union President Sneha Walia ’15, Student Union Executive Director David Heaton ’17, Class of 2017 Senator Ben Margolin and Sodexo Allergy Intern Marissa Ditkowsky ’16, who left the event early and was later replaced by Student Union Secretary Charlotte Franco ’15.

About 20 students attended the event, which lasted for about an hour and a half.

Many students were concerned with the major changes to price, policy and service, which accompanied the new meal plans that were introduced at the end of last semester. Panelists assured the audience that Sodexo, as well as the new Vice President of Operations James Gray, were receptive to feedback.

“I was just curious how flexible it was,” asked one audience member, stating that during Orientation, Sodexo’s general manager at Brandeis Shawn Monaghan told students that Sodexo was flexible and open to feedback.

“So I was wondering how legitimate of a statement that was when, within the same discussion, it got to a point where it’s like nothing is really changeable and the meal plans are sort of set in stone.”

Student Union panelists stated that the dining situation was flexible within reason but that some things were not open to negotiation due to Sodexo’s contract with the University—the details of which they were not completely privy to.

The Brandeis University Senate Dining Committee Facebook page continues to field comments, concerns and questions online.

—Tate Herbert

Editor’s Note: Marissa Ditkowsky is the news editor of the Justice.