Regents mandate food policy change

The Board of Regents has tacked on new restrictions to Tech’s food policy, which will take effect Feb. 1. The Regents-mandated policy will change how and from where organizations are allowed to purchase food for on-campus meetings and events. Specifically, per-diem limits will be imposed for most state or Institute-funded meals to the tune of $7 per person for breakfast, $9 per person for lunch and $20 (tax included) per person for dinner. In addition, all on campus food purchases greater than $200 must be purchased from Sodexho, which currently holds the contract for GT Catering and most campus dining services.

These restrictions mark a significant departure from the previous policy, which had no per-diem limits and only required organizations to use Sodexho’s food services for events held in the Student Center.

Exclusions to the policy include food purchased for research or academic activities, food purchased by outside organizations, food provided at conferences and workshops and snacks or refreshments.

However, the new rules do apply to all student events, student recruiting events, volunteer events, employee-training classes and staff meetings that are funded by the Institute or charged on Pcards.

Groups or individuals who wish to use outside food providers must get their exception approved by Rich Steele, director of the Student Center. To avoid the per-diem restriction, groups must use non-Institute funds.

Sharon Jackson, associate director of Business Services, led a discussion of the new policy this Wednesday in a packed Student Center Theater. Several individuals raised concerns that the policy would limit on-campus food options. A Sodexho representative responded that Sodexho offers “plenty of options” and will work with individuals to find solutions to their food issues.