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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

In response to Alex Carruther’s “Mutual beneficiaries of high dining prices”

<r Alex,

I have read your article on “Mutual beneficiaries of high dining prices: Sodexho and Carleton.” As a food service employee I would like to defend ourselves and Sodexho.

First in Sodexho’s defense I would like to bring up the finger pointing about rising cost. As a food service employee everyday I see dozens of students that sneak in and do not swipe their cards, they take most food than they can eat and have no problem throwing it away. Backpacks and other bags are filled with breads, cereal, fruit and whatever else they can fit. Theft and waste are the biggest reason for raising cost. For example, I know in some retail locations for every dollar that is wasted the store needs to earn thirty-three dollars to make up that cost.

The snack bar is open an average of 17 hours a day for the students’ convenience per Cartleton’s request. Their pricing can be compared to local businesses in Northfield for the same quality of food. For example: a Grilled Chicken sandwich, fries and a coke will cost approx. $6.00 at the snack bar, this cost would be more at the Quarterback.

Comparing Sodexho employees and Northfield, Minnesota to New York City is absolutely not comparing apples to apples. Let’s look at Northfield, it is now considered a suburb of the Twin Cities metro, it is a major college city therefore the cost of living is higher than the rest of rural Minnesota. Let’s also look at other local businesses in Northfield: Malt-O-Meal, average employee makes $18 an hour, McLain, the average employee makes $14-16 an hour and even at McDonalds the average is $8-12 an hour.

The cost for a family renting an apartment on average will cost $9,600 a year. The cost for an average house will cost $12,000 a year; this is not including property taxes, electric, water etc. For argument sake, let’s take your escalated $18.00 an hour and multiply by 40 hours and then by 38 weeks (which is what we normally work in a school year) that is $27,360 a year, when in reality there are many employees that make $22,000 a year which would amount to about half of your tuition. Most are single parents with 2-3 children. How many of these children will get the chance to attend a prestigious college like Carleton and St. Olaf? How many times the minimum wage are you expecting to make when you graduate from college?

Let’s Recap:

Apartment Rent: $9,600 a year

Phone: $600 a year

Electric: $480 a year

Garage: $360 a year

Car Payment: $3,600 a year

Food: $4,800 a year

Gas: $1,920 a year

Medical Insurance: $2,400 a year.

The above equals $23,760 a year spent and that is not including clothes, school activities, school lunches, car insurance etc. If the average person at Sodexho and in Northfield for that matter makes $22,000 a year or it you made this, the question is “How would you survive?”

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