by Barbara Black
Its time for a change in the way meals are offered to students on
Thanks to an evaluation done by a committee of staff and students early
this year, renovations to the food service areas on both campuses are
part of the universitys negotiations for the next food services
contract, now underway.
Perhaps the most urgent need is on the Loyola Campus, where the students
who live in residence throughout the school year eat all their meals.
We went to talk to the students and look at the situation,
said Patricia Posius, acting director of Auxiliary Services. By all accounts,
she and her colleague, Johanne de Cubellis, assistant director of Auxiliary
Services, got an earful.
The food plan had been rigid by comparison with most university plans,
Posius said, and over the past year, it had become more so. To make matters
worse, residence students were badly shaken by a food-poisoning incident
last fall that was due partly to an equipment breakdown and partly to
The food plan was made more flexible, and both the university and the
current food services provider, Sodexho, did their best to help the students.
There were already issues of space, ambience, nutrition and variety of
the food offered. The university decided that it was time to see
whats out there, in de Cubelliss phrase. As a result,
the contract is being opened as widely as possible to bidders from the
admittedly specialized world of institutional food service providers.
Sodexho, known formerly as Marriott, has provided food services at Concordia
for 29 years.
Meanwhile, on the Sir George Williams Campus, a student soup kitchen called
The Peoples Potato has been operating for two years, with the support
and cooperation of the university, and now shares space and facilities
with Sodexho on the 7th floor of the Hall Building.
Zev Tiefenbach (Peoples Potato) and Bilal Hamideh (Muslim Student
Association) have proposed a student-run multi-ethnic food court that
would be a commercial operation, not a soup kitchen. Posius said that
the university likes this concept so much that it has been included in
the specifications for the new food services contract. The operators of
The Peoples Potato, with other student associations, have been invited
to submit a business plan for the venture.
The current contract ends May 31, and an announcement is likely around
that time. You can expect to see major changes in many aspects of food
services, regardless of the provider chosen including food spaces,
common student spaces, menus and catering.