We speak for the Terry

Colby has a reason to celebrate: we have thrown off the shackles of a corporate service company and replaced it with a genuine and highly regarded food service. Yes, as of July 1, Colby’s food and catering will be provided by the well-respected Bon Appétit. This new provider is committed to local food, sustainability, and the humane treatment of animals.

However, this new service is missing one key aspect that is central to the Colby dining experience: Terry Landry. Terry is a legendary figure known by all who frequent Foss dining hall, and with good reason. Terry has dedicated his entire career at Colby to making Foss the quality, organic, vegetarian and vegan friendly place that it is today. In order to further its environmental mission and better the Colby community, Bon Appétit should hire Terry onto its staff.

One of Terry’s most valuable contributions to Colby dining is his connections with local and organic food vendors. While Sodexo toutes a sustainable model, Terry is the body of Colby’s progressive food system. Losing Terry would result in an undue loss of Colby’s existing local and organic connections, or at least result in a stiffening of these relationships.

Aside from his genuine passion for sustainability, Terry possession of interpersonal values are truly rare in dining managers. According to an anonymous source, Terry stands up for workers. Most other managers take the side of Sodexo when the company clashes (frequently) with its workers. While I do not expect Bon Appétit to continue the oppressive work environment that Sodexo seems to perpetuate, they would do well to keep a firm advocate for workers.

Terry is also the most approachable Dining Hall Manager, and fundamentally cares about the students who frequent Foss. If you have ever been in Foss, then you’ve seen Terry in action. Most days of the week, during most meals, Terry works the crowd. He says hello to students. He asks them how their meal is and what dishes they like most. Perhaps his most shining moment as a Dining Manager, he even dresses up as Dumbledore for Colby Great Hall night. These actions may seem trivial, but they are the foundation of an open and caring dining community.

And yet, Terry seems to be leaving us. The reality of the situation hit Foss workers, as they watched Terry begin to clean out his files from his office. What’s worse, is that Terry has at very least one or two years before he can retire. Uncertainty hangs in the air: will Terry really be gone? Will this man have to uproot his life, just two years before retirement?

As of now, the situation is mixed. Sodexo has a new contract with University of Maine, and assumedly hopes to transfer many of its Colby employes to their new operation. Technically, Terry is bound by a non-compete clause, the result of his salaried contract with Sodexo. In a simple sense, this means he cannot leave Sodexo’s employment to work for another company. This clause is blurry, as it may or may not apply to a transition of dining services, as is currently happening.

However, there is hope. The general understanding is that Sodexo would be amenable to Terry’s situation, given his strong ties to Foss and proximity to retirement. Furthermore, Bon Appétit plans to meet with Sodexo employees about potential employment, and is amenable to the hiring of managing shadows, which would be returning managers that would help train new hires. If Terry were not to be considered as a full manager, this job would certainly be a respectful offer for such a valuable member of the Colby community.

If you care about Terry and his work for the Colby community, there is a way for you to reach out. Bon Appétit is meeting with students eager to weigh in on the dining transition. To advocate for Terry, put your name in a box on the door of Eustis 101, and let our newest member of the Colby community know where our values stand.