Sodexo talks new food concepts, renovations

This week’s Rensselaer Union Executive Board meeting opened with Sodexo giving the E-Board an update on the work done over the summer. Matt Mueller, general manager for Hospitality Services, and Mark Wagner, retail director, met with the E-Board to discuss changes in the McNeil Room, Rathskeller, and Father’s Marketplace.

One of the main purposes of the renovations done to the McNeil room was to take out some of the congestion at lunch by going from six concepts to four. The next step was to expand the menu’s four concepts andcx add smoothies and drinks and clean up the menu lists by using digital menus.

For Rathskeller, there were originally five concepts, which have been now cut down to three. SubConnection remained from last year. Rathskeller introduced two new food outlets: Mega Burger and Cusato’s Pizzeria. Mega Burger was originally planned to serve grilled cheese sandwiches as well, but Hospitality Services decided to start the first semester with just burgers. The burgers are fresh, never frozen from local farms. Mega Burger also sells fresh fries and they also have gluten free individual wrapped buns. Cusato’s Pizzeria is from a local resteraunt nearby. Finally, a new Pepsi Tower (a soda machine similar to the one located at Moe’s) will be installed this year.

One of the noticeable changes in Father’s Marketplace was the sushi bar having its own place. Now with the addition of hot bowls, the AFC Sushi’s sells over 150 meals a day. Its staff enjoys the larger space and has started selling sushi on weekends as well. Another change was the removal of Arizona Iced Tea. Rensselaer is a Pepsi campus, and receives money from Pepsi. Arizona is a non-Pepsi product and Father’s currently stocks other iced tea brands. However, since many students have expressed interest in Arizona, Hospitality Services is looking at how many were sold last year and determining if it would do well if brought back. While Hospitality Services has not officially stated Arizona Iced Tea will be back, they do say students will likely see it in the future.

Overall, the Union E-Board feels the money they gave to help with Union dining renovations was well spent.

Next on the agenda was the Men’s Club Soccer looking to establish themselves a Union funded club. Lucas Buscher ’15, vice president, and Scott DeSouza ’16, a captain, helped start the club last year. During tryouts last year, over 300 men came to try out. The team was widely successful, and this year they are looking to make it into regional play offs. They had over 50 people on the team at the time but did not have the finances to support them. This year, there are only 30 people and they have $20 dues. In addition, there are many out-of-pocket expenses that the dues do not cover. As a result, they came to the E-Board to look for funding. The team is in need of new soccer balls, ball pumps, and PUGG goals. They are separate from the women’s team, and receive hand-me-downs from the Division III men’s team, but it is not enough. In a 12-0-0 motion, the Rensselaer Union E-Board approved men’s Club Soccer to become a Union funded team with a starting budget of $350 dollars so they can buy supplies. This motion concluded the board’s meeting.