University may revamp J Street, Sodexo partnership

The University, faced with the possibility of competition from new dining venues moving in to The Avenue, is looking to revamp J Street dining.

Speaking at the Board of Trustees meeting Friday, trustee Allan From said GW hopes to create a “more inviting place” for students to eat and congregate.

From said the implementation process would take about 2 years, once plans were formulated and approved.

“We’re looking to reconfigure the Marvin Center dining experience,” From said.

The University is also reviewing the mandatory food purchasing policy, he added, but said no decisions have been made on that program either. Freshmen are required to spend $700 per semester and sophomores are required to spend $250 per semester at Sodexo-run dining facilities on campus. The program has been a point of contention with students who find it restrictive.

Sodexo is 5 years into an exclusive 10-year contract with the University. Ditching the mandatory spending program would require renegotiating the contract.

Student Association President Jason Lifton said the SA, along with other GW administrative offices, is taking part in a “total review of the GW dining model.”

“Given GW’s unique location, it has become quite apparent that a traditional college meal plan does not work here,” Lifton said.

Senior Associate Vice President for Administration Ed Schonfeld declined to elaborate on the changes.

“The University’s campus support services organization is evaluating GW Dining Services for students as part of its ongoing effort to ensure and improve value, quality and service throughout GW’s campus dining venues,” he said.

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