As the spring semester kicks off, many students have noticed Sodexo has raised the quality of options available for students in the dining halls and other retail locations. Previously, students complained on a daily basis about the food Sodexo has served. As Sodexo’s current contract comes to an end, this Board has seen improvement and hopes that the University’s future food vendor will continue with this upward trend. This board acknowledges the positive changes made by the University and Sodexo in order to satisfy the needs of students on campus. 

Sherman Dining Hall has added new features which have pleasantly surprised students. For example, students have made note of Sherman’s new sauce shelf, which provides students with a larger variety in terms of flavors. Additionally, Sherman added a new miso soup station, at which students can add their own flavoring and ingredients to a broth base. Sherman also has a new sandwich area and added a stir fry station, similar to Lower Usdan’s, which may spice up the dining hall’s appeal.

The Stein has also seen an overhaul. The menu has new options that this board hopes will eventually be introduced into dining halls permanently. This board commends Sodexo and the Brandeis dining staff for making an effort to grow and expand the options, especially for vegans and vegetarians. Among the changes to the Stein’s menu, students are now able to order the new and popular Impossible Burger. This patty is a completely plant-based substitute for a beef hamburger patty. However, the Stein removed meal swipe options from their “late night” menu, a useful option that they instituted during last semester and that this board would like to see return. This board recognizes that Nancy Zhai ’22 campaigned to make these changes happen and commends the University and staff for following through. 

This timely upgrade occurred just before the University is set to select its next food vendor, a process in which Sodexo is in the running. According to a Sept. 10 article in the Justice, the University’s contract with Sodexo will expire in June 2020. 

Although these changes have been a pleasant surprise, the kosher options have seen little to no improvement. This board encourages the University — and future dining contractors — to make improvements to kosher dining the next steps.

Overall, students this semester have been much more satisfied with the food selection provided to them in the dining halls and other retail locations. As the contract with Sodexo nears its end, this board encourages Brandeis to communicate with the future vendor as to not backtrack on the progress made in the dining services this semester. This board acknowledges the dining staff in charge of this change, as well as Senate Dining Committee Zhai ’22, who worked hard to create these changes.