Students shape dining

Sodexo club allows students to interact, critique and effect campus eateries

Liberty’s campus has recently undergone several major changes, including the Jerry Falwell Library and the LaHaye Student Union, both completed in 2014. However, the campus’ large-scale construction projects are not the only transformation on campus.

One such area of continued growth on campus can be seen in Sodexo, the food servicing corporation that represents Liberty. Sodexo’s official website wrote that the French-based international food giant has undergone many developments since its debut with Liberty. These changes and more are in a large part caused by Liberty’s branch of the Student Board of Directors (SBOD).

According to Casey Guise, Unit Marketing Coordinator for Sodexo, the SBOD is a group of students who meet to discuss the dining options on campus. The group’s goal is to not only give a voice to those students on campus concerning dining at Liberty, but to also ensure high standards and high quality at every dining location on campus.


“We [the SBOD] get to see the change to dining on campus,” senior SBOD member Audrey Bamford said. “The decisions we make directly affect the student body. We believe that students should take more advantage of having their voice heard to make a difference.”

Guise said the improvements being made include ensuring better customer service for students to more innovative ideas such as more franchises or dining options to be added to the campus. The SBOD is responsible for proposing a vast majority of the decisions that affect dining at Liberty.

“I’ve been a part of the SBOD for about two-and-a-half years now,” Bamford said. “I’ve been able to witness a lot of great changes to Reber (Thomas Dining Hall) like nutritional changes and the addition of the training table that makes it what it is now.”

According to Guise, the SBOD helped engineer the food truck on campus idea as well, and played a role in the Reber-Thomas Dining Hall being voted the best college dining hall in the country as calculated by

“The Student Board of Directors is involved in a lot of decisions regarding student dining,” Guise said. “There’s nothing like seeing a dining location through the eyes of a customer. The SBOD allows us to do this.”

To bring about such advances to the dining at Liberty, Guise noted students who are a part of the SBOD participate in a secret shopper program where they dine at different locations at Liberty to grade them on customer service, quality and the overall dining experience.

Students posing as the secret shopper will often intentionally complain about the food or a dining experience to a worker or manager to test the location on its overall service and ability to handle a dissatisfied customer.

Such tactics help give the students on the SBOD a better look into how a dining location operates, the location’s overall dining experience and allow students an opportunity to look at tangible solutions to improve any dining situation when problems arise.

Ultimately, according to Guise, the SBOD at Liberty exists to be a representative for the rest of the student body, and to prioritize student health and satisfaction at every dining option on campus.

“The SBOD offers a different voice for the students at Liberty,” Guise said. “They collaborate and decide on important decisions so that the rest of the student body can benefit.”

To find out more about the Student Body of Directors program visit and apply at

Young is a feature reporter.

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