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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Food budget feeds more mouths than just students

As a result of a call for financial transparency from last year’s open forum on Sodexo, this week Marquette released a financial breakdown of each dollar spent on food services.

Not surprisingly, the majority of each dollar spent within dining services goes toward Marquette’s food vendor. Sodexo operates the six dining locations (five residence halls and Marquette Place in the Alumni Memorial Union) around campus, and the Brew Bayou coffee shops.

Sodexo receives 65 percent of the total budget, which, according to the breakdown, represents the “contracted cost of providing food service on the Marquette campus.”

The breakdown, which was obtained by Marquette Student Government and passed along to the Tribune, “makes sense,” according to MUSG Chair of the Student Life Committee Katie Simoncic.

“I think that it is a common understanding that our food money doesn’t just go to the cost of food, but everything behind the operation,” said Simoncic, a junior in the College of Communication.

Following Sodexo, the next largest investment into food services comes in the form of “Renewal.” This accounts for 21 percent of the budget, and is the cost of improvements made in the dining rooms and their buildings each year.

In a Sept. 2 article, the Tribune reported Mashuda’s dining hall alone received an estimated $500,000 in renovations for its new ’50s-style cafe that opened at the start of the school year. McCormick Hall and Straz Tower’s dining halls also received renovations.

In years when the money is not spent on dining hall facilities, the “money remains within the residence halls, and is used to fund improvements within those buildings,” said MUSG President Meghan Ladwig.

Ladwig, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences, said students have been concerned with the value of meals, and raised those questions last year at the open discussion.

She said MUSG will continue to address these concerns and raise any further questions students bring up regarding the money spent on each dollar for food services.

Simoncic agreed with Ladwig’s assessment, saying that she would like to see more money go toward the quality of the food.

“Although (the food) has improved greatly in the past few years, I still think it can be healthier and more local,” Simoncic said. “I feel like I share this sentiment with many other Marquette students.”

Twelve percent of money is allocated to employees’ salaries. Only 3 percent goes to students, while the other 9 percent goes toward other Sodexo staff members.

Riley Burgess, a sophomore in the College of Business Administration, works at the Straz dining hall and said he makes $8 an hour.

“I would like more,” he said. “I mean, I think everyone wants more money, but eight bucks is good for now I guess.”

Only operating expenses and utilities receive less money than the students. Operating expenses include services such as rubbish removal, cleaning supplies and pest control.

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