While the Student Government Association and the university assess the new SAC renovation project, the discussion surrounding Sodexo meal-plan price increases has been delayed. The stall prompts students to question if the SAC renovation plan and the bigger price tag on student meal plans are related.
David Martin, U of L’s director of contract administration and procurement services, says, “The current planned increase is designed to compensate Sodexo for increasing operational costs, not future investments. However, our contractual arrangement with Sodexo does allocate and budget resources for facilities enhancements that add to our overall student experience over the course of the contract.”
He says Sodexo used investment capital from the current contract, which is set to expire in 2018, to fund the Ville Grill and other dining options on campus.
At the Feb. 24 senate meeting, U of L’s CFO Harlan Sands said that the university’s partners in dining and retail may invest in the SAC west renovation project.
“In the coming weeks, we will be looking at ways to add additional investment capital for the current SAC renovation plan – capital that is significantly needed to expand and enhance our SAC dining, kitchen and common areas. Part of this review could involve extending Sodexo’s contract beyond 2018,” says Martin.
In an email, both Sands and Martin expressed the desire to create a SAC that current and future students would “be proud to call ‘home.'”
Update: On Tuesday, Martin said, “I believe that the plan increases have been approved by all but I am unsure about the SGA Senate.” The Senate was scheduled to vote on the meal plan increases on Feb. 24.