Fort Valley State to offer student body broader food fare

FORT VALLEY – Sophomore agricultural economics major Alexis Woodford is complimentary of the food served in the Fort Valley State University cafeteria.

She just wishes there were more options.

“You get tired of eating the same food all the time,” Woodford said.

Soon, that will not be a problem. The campus is abuzz with the news that more dining options will be available to FVSU students this fall.

When students return to campus in August, they’ll have the choice of eating at a made-to-order hamburger restaurant, Original Burger Company, in the Lottie Lyons Center, or grabbing a quick sandwich at Simply to Go. Students in the Wildcat Commons will be able to venture to the clubhouse for Papa John’s. In the middle of the semester, a Jazzman’s Coffee Stand is scheduled to open in the Hunt Memorial Library. In 2010, Chick-fil-A and Quizno’s locations are planned for the new football stadium.

The university entered into a contract with Maryland-based Sodexo on July 1 to replace Thompson Hospitality. Sodexo currently operates food services in 800 higher-education institutions around the country.

Aadrian Dawsey, FVSU’s director of auxiliary services, said the hunt for a new food service provider on campus started when it became apparent that the new stadium and its adjacent student center would both require additional revenue to operate.

“The best revenue generator is food service,” Dawsey said.

“We took the approach that students in high school have different options,” he said. “Why didn’t they have those same types of options when they go off to college?”

The university put together a request for proposals and a focus group consisting of students.

The focus group visited colleges with existing food service contracts and, with input from the students, the university made its decision.

Katy Kash, unit marketing director for Sodexo, said the company looked forward to providing desirable food options to Fort Valley State students.

“This is going to be very exciting, not just for Sodexo and Fort Valley State, but for the entire community,” Kash said.

Demerick Kendrick, like Woodford a sophomore agricultural economics major, was a proponent of the change in food service.

“I think it’s a good look for the school and it benefits the students,” Kendrick said.

To contact writer Natasha Smith, call 923-3109, extension 236.