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Trouble in Paradise

By Patrick McAvoy ’19

Staff Writer


“What do I do now?”

This was the thought in the heads of many Merrimack students last week as the conveyor belt at Sparky’s broke down. This mechanical issue made meals at Sparky’s much more confusing and difficult for both students and Sodexo workers alike.

While the conveyor belt was down, Sparky’s employees sometimes had to put carts out, collect dirty dishes, and wheel the carts back to the kitchen for cleaning.

Some days, students were prompted to utilize plastic cups and dinnerware. This went on for a few days before the conveyor belt was finally fixed.

“There was an internal malfunction with one of the components,” said Multi Services General Manager of Sodexo at Merrimack Karen Van Avery. “Anytime there is a repair needed for a piece of equipment we have the situation reviewed by campus maintenance; and if needed, call out the repair company.”

It took a few days, but the conveyor belt was eventually fixed and is now properly working.

“We have preventative maintenance programs for all of our equipment. The PM schedule assists with keeping all machinery running properly,” said Van Avery.

Many students were stumped regarding what happened to the belt.

“I was confused and rattled and had no idea what I was going to do with my plates. I believe they did a very good job getting it fixed fast,” said sophomore Sean Kucharski. “I definitely preferred to use the paper plates when the machine was broken. It made it much easier to dispose of everything after I ate.”

Sophomore Robert Tolan had similar responses to questions regarding Sparky’s. When he initially saw that the conveyor belt was broken when he was holding his dirty dishes he was confused.

“I was confused and I don’t really think that the people at Sparky’s did a great job of telling us where to put our plates,” said Tolan.