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The Statesman


Student reactions to new dining system on campus

New Food_Eric Schmid
West Side Dining now uses a swipe entry system and serves food in a buffet style. Students are frustrated with the new systems changes in portion sizes and food quality. ERIC SCHMID/THE STATESMAN

We reached out to students on campus to voice their opinions on the new campus dining system. The following are responses taken on the progression/ regression of campus dining’s food quality, portion sizes, food variety and overall on-campus dining experience. Submissions have been edited for grammar, length and/or clarity.

“The food has lost its quality and most of its ingredients. Sandwiches are awful and they don’t bother to refill any of their food or drinks unless it’s pizza or burgers/fries.” — Julian Leib, sophomore, economics major.

“Trying to eat on campus should not be more difficult than passing Bio 203. I’m just saying.” ­­­— Clare Finnegan, junior, history major on premed track.

“I am a commuter and it would really be awesome if I could get a meal in between classes quickly and for a good price. I think that the food quality is alright, but the portions and prices are so ridiculous that I try to use campus dining as little as possible. And many of my friends have to leave campus to get a meal in between classes.” — Patrick Kearney, junior, history major.

“I had to force myself to eat a greater amount of food hoping that it would keep me full for the rest of the day. Another problem I discovered was that the school had increased the prices of several items in the retail places, as well.” — Adam Whitten, senior, business management major.

“I actually get anxiety when I think about where my next meal is coming from. But honestly, truly, I think the worst part is the fact that I can’t leave the dining hall with food that I have already paid for. It is disgusting.” — Tamika Butler, junior, English major and creative writing minor.

“It’s a new system so there are obviously a bunch of flaws, but the fact that students are so up in arms is making the company push through changes to make this a better system. By next year I think people will like this system more than what we used to have.” — Mohammed Elbarkatawy, senior, political science and business major.

“I’ve gotten to the point that I’m planning on begging FSA to let me be a resident in a corridor style building without a meal plan. Unless things change, I won’t be eating the food here. Last year they made so much progress in options, especially in terms of vegetarian and vegan choices, but this year everything is premade so it’s not like I can cater to my dietary habits as a vegetarian here anymore.” — Brianna Cahil, senior, marine sciences major.

“As someone with a wheat allergy, it’s a lot harder to find options that I can eat. And if there is something I can eat I can’t be 100 percent sure it hasn’t been cross- contaminated because the stations are fithly.” — Kait Bristol, senior, sociology and health science major.

“They have less workers and less food options but are charging higher prices. Yes, we can now eat as much as we can but there are way less options of food to choose from than we thought coming back to school. Why can’t they hire people to still serve the food at least because the food seems even more untrustworthy being that people serve themselves. We didn’t pay to put our health in the hands of our peers, we pay the school to handle our food.” — Dani Norelus, senior, health science and technology major.

“I’m actually not opposed to the dine-in system. However there should be enough food to cater to the number of students. Also, the food quality and choices have dropped from last year. There’s not much protein that isn’t processed meat, and too little vegetarian options.” — Megan Tan, sophomore, computer science major.

“I avoid eating on campus, but it will be difficult to find places where I can take food with me. I stack my classes back to back as a commuter so that I only have to be here two days a week so I have very little time between classes to eat. I can’t afford to sit around for 20 minutes in a dining hall.” — Rebecca Piraino, sophomore, pre-nursing.

“If Campus Dining wants to make this system work, they’ll need to increase the quality and selection of food on the campus to make up for the high prices.” — Bryan Hauser, senior, computer science major.

“While I see where campus dining was going with the change in terms of saving money and resources, this new system has led itself to great waste, decreased quality and most importantly unsanitary conditions. Aside from the new inconvenience of having to ‘dine in,’ the influx of people has created overcrowding and subsequently tables remain dirty, ingredients become cross-contaminated and there is food all over the floor.” — Cindy Marji, senior, biomedical engineering major.

“I think they were trying to do something similar to other schools but they weren’t able to fully come through with it which ended in this chaos. When you’re a tiny person like me, buffets are just a waste of money, which is why I ended up getting dining points only.” — Sayaka Uoyama, senior, multidisciplinary studies major.

“They say that this [new system] is supposed to help students who run out of meal points, but I’m usually one of those students, and I think it’s our responsibility to budget better. I also agree with the people who say that having a safety net discourages us from learning how to be responsible with our money.” — Dave Lennard, sophomore, linguistics and ecosystems and human impact major.

Correction: September 7, 2016 

A previous version of this story erroneously reported Sayaka Uoyama as Sayaka Toyama.

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