The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

View this profile on Instagram

The Torch (@sju_torch) • Instagram photos and videos

Photo Courtesy / YouTube Jojo Siwa
Jojo Siwa’s Bad Karma
Catherine Pascal, Staff Writer • May 3, 2024
Torch Photo / Anya Geiling
Live Show Spotlight: Roger Eno
Anya Geiling, Contributing Writer • April 30, 2024
Torch Photo / Olivia Rainson
Speed Dating Your Prospective Professors
Isabella Acierno, Outreach Manager • April 29, 2024

Sodexho Axed

St. John’s University has made the switch from Sodexho dining services to Chartwells over the winter break, signing a five-and-a-half year contract with the company. The University has also unveiled plans to renovate all campus dining areas over the next few years, as a direct result of the change in dining service companies.

According to Anne Marie Schettini-Lynch, assistant vice president and treasurer of business affairs, it was a mutual decision between St. John’s and Sodexho, who felt that the company needed to re-evaluate itself due to ongoing financial struggles.

And despite Marillac and the Law School Cafeteria failing their health inspections last semester, Schettini-Lynch said that this was not a factor in the decision to choose a new dining service company, although the University was “not happy” with the failings.

St. John’s then placed its bid for a new company, and according to a university press release, the University chose Chartwells “after a national bidding process and an extensive review of the bids by a committee of university representatives receiving feedback from student focus groups.

Chartwells serves more than 875 colleges and universities in the nation, including Stony Brook, Wagner, and Purchase College in the Northeast.

Schettini-Lynch explained that Chartwells is honoring Sodexho’s prices this semester, and has also given employees the opportunity to continue working under the new company.

In a written statement, Nelson DeFigueiredo, regional manager for Chartwells, stated, “We know the University and the students have high expectations for their campus dining experiences. It is our commitment… that our customers will benefit from increased levels of customer service, health, safety and wellness.”

And, according to, Chartwells encourages healthy dining with their philosophy, “Eat. Learn. Live.”

The web site, which was recently launched, includes on-campus menus, a calendar of events, and allows students to purchase their meal plans online.

Schettini-Lynch also said that Chartwells was chosen because it brought change, variety, and quality to campus dining.

She said that one of the biggest complaints from students was flexibility, and that now “students can take a dinner swipe and eat at Marillac” instead of having Montgoris as their only option.

In fact, one of the immediate changes that students will have to get used to is the various name changes of restaurants, because Sodexho was the owner of the previous names.

The “pizza place” in Marillac is now “Mama Leone’s,” “Grill 155” in the Law School Cafeteria is now “The Grill,” and “Jazzman’s” in the Library is now called “Pura Vida.”

And according to Nelson DeFigueiredo, regional manager for Chartwells, Pura Vida sells coffee from a nonprofit coffee provider, which donates money to children in third-world countries.

Marillac also underwent a change in its appearance with a new paint job, while food stands and refrigerators were reorganized to create more space.

Diners felt that this change in appearance was beneficial.

Student Kim Wilkins thinks that the area looks “aesthetically pleasing.”

“I like it. Everything is in its place. It’s more convenient, especially during [the] lunch hour.”

Wilkins added that she is glad to see a change that benefits the student body.
Besides the name and cosmetic changes, students can expect to experience interactive dining in Montgoris, through “Pulse on Dining,” where the cooking will be done in front of students, said DeFigueiredo.

In addition, starting this semester, students will be able to take tours of the kitchens every Wednesday, where they will see how their food is prepared.

Other changes include a new “pizza program” at the Law School Cafeteria called “Red Storm Pizza,” and in the long term, “Naked Pear,” will be added as a healthy and organic concept to the cafeteria. Student Mansi Shah, who dines in the Law School Cafeteria, said she likes the idea of having healthy food on campus.

“It’s a personal choice of what students want to eat but I would still pick a healthy place [to eat].”

DeFigueiredo explained that they are “doing the best to get what students are looking for” to engage them with dining services. A “Residents’ Hall Council” will be implemented to evaluate the needs of resident students, and a PDA based survey called “Student Voice” will be created to obtain the opinions of students about prices and quality of food.

The feedback will be used to adjust what works for the University and Chartwells. Schettini-Lynch said that based on the feedback, the hours of places like Sullivan Café will be re-evaluated for more convenience.

And according to DeFigueiredo, equipment will be upgraded, managers will attend training sessions, and higher cleanliness standards will be evaluated through health inspections by New York City and the University

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Torch
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of St. John's University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Torch
Our Goal

Comments (0)

We love comments and feedback, but we ask that you please be respectful in your responses.
All The Torch Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *