The Student News Site of Central Oregon Community College

The Broadside

The Student News Site of Central Oregon Community College

The Broadside

The Student News Site of Central Oregon Community College

The Broadside

COCC students note dining improvements in Bend campus


Five thousand dollars. That is the average price for a meal plan for students at Central Oregon Community College (COCC). Every student living in the campus residence hall must have one to reside in the dorms. 

This means that for almost four hundred students, the dining hall in Coats Campus Center is the primary source of their everyday food and meals. As of now, the dining hall is the only place to get an actual hot meal on COCC’s campus. 

This places a responsibility on the dining hall, with hundreds of students relying on it every day. This year, there have been noticeable improvements. The consensus of returning students is that the food has improved from last year. One student who believes this is Connor Nimmoor who attended last year and has seen the changes to the food. He appreciates the wider variety of food being served.  

“The menu options have improved, and there’s definitely more of a selection,” Nimmoor said. Although he does not go to the dining hall as much as he did last year, he feels like the improvements have been noticeable. 

Alexander Rasmussen is a student who has worked as a cashier since last year. He’s seen significant turnover in staff, and he believes it has been for the better.  

“There’s been more love put into the food, there have been some changes on the back end with cooks and we no longer have the employees that didn’t live up to the standards. Our food and services can always get better, but it’s definitely improved since last year,” Rasmussen said. 

One of the most thankless jobs on campus is being a student chef at the school dining hall. Stephen Utter is one of those chefs. He is also a returning student and believes the positive direction of Sodexo is due to multiple things, but he gives plenty of credit to a better kitchen attitude and particularly the new Sous Chef Jacob Gauthier.

“It’s the fact that he cares about his job, him caring makes it feel like a better environment to work in … He actually cares about making good food for the students on campus,” Utter said. 

Jacob Gauthier has previous cooking experience and was originally supposed to be a temporary employee for Sodexo early in September, but his performance in the kitchen got him an offer to work full-time by the dining hall’s General Manager Kelly Brown. His previous experience as a line cook has helped him during his time working at Sodexo.  

“I’ve gotten a lot more experience and a lot more confidence in the short amount that I’ve worked here,” Gauthier said. When asked what can be done to continue the positive trend, he said, “keeping staff motivated and happy, a lot of our employees are culinary students and making a safe and supportive working environment.” 

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Broadside Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

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