Wednesday, January 16th, 2019

Letter to the editor: Sodexo is valuable to USM’s community

Posted on October 30, 2018 in Perspectives
By USM Free Press

By: Adam Tuchinsky, Dean, College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences

I am writing in regard to the Oct. 1 Free Press cover story, which focused upon student dissatisfaction with Sodexo. While I am sure that Sodexo General Manager Tadd Stone is always looking to improve service and quality, as he concedes in the article, I would like to say a few words about what a valuable partner Sodexo and its campus staff have been under Stone’s leadership.

Sodexo is a committed sponsor of School of Music events and helps execute our annual Gala. Stone and his staff have done incredible work in connection with Student Life, our Student Body President, the UMS Office of Procurement and our tireless Chair of Sociology, Professor Cheryl Laz to launch the Campus Kitchen Project, which retrieves and then prepares excess food before it spoils for the Portland Boys and Girls Club. Stone has made space for them in our campus kitchen and staff help, when possible, guiding their work.

In the spring semester 2018, Stone and Sodexo served as an active community partner to Professor Jamie Picardy in Food Studies as she and her students surveyed food preferences of USM students. International Students, partnering with our Dean of Students Rodney Mondor, staff from the Student Diversity Center and the Office of International Programs, approached Sodexo with a request to help them celebrate Dashain, a central Hindu family festival in Nepal. Based upon only a YouTube video, a Sodexo cook prepared a meal one student pronounced as “excellent.”

These are merely only a few examples. But what has impressed me the most about Sodexo under Stone’s thoughtful leadership is the way in which he and his staff carry out their role as educators in our community. Yes they are a business, but a business that always has its eyes upon our educational mission taking every opportunity, when they can, to advance learning.


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