As a sophomore of this university, I have found myself thoroughly enjoying several aspects of my education. My professors are interesting, my friends are great, and the dorms aren’t nearly as bad as I thought they’d be. However, there has been one major complaint that has only grown into a passionate hatred the longer I endure it: the campus dining services.
We spend a little over a thousand dollars each semester on food, I understand in comparison to other campuses this is cheap, and for good reason. It’s all crap from the food to the service and anything in between.
First of all, I pay for these meals, so I expect to have one whenever I want. I am an adult capable of making decisions about my money and I don’t think the university has the right to tell me that I can’t have 5 meals in one sitting if I damn well please. I didn’t give them that money to control my intake of food, I gave them that money to have readily available when I want to go eat. In addition to this atrocity, my meals don’t roll over. I only get 14 a week and if I don’t use every one of them, they disappear into a university vortex and my money is just flushed down the toilet. They should roll over; in fact I shouldn’t be told I can only have so many meals in a week. I should be given a certain amount a semester so I can determine what I want when I want. Once again, I am an adult who can manage my own meal options. I feel like the university is stealing from me when they don’t allow me to have what I’ve already purchased.
Secondly, I hate the locations of where I can and cannot have my meal plan. The University Center is right next to all of my classes and much more convenient that booking it back to Esker, shoveling food down my throat, and then booking it back to class. Why can’t I use my meal plan at the UC? I understand the coffee shop allows me a coffee and a donut for a meal option, but seriously, what kind of lunch is that? Sugar and caffeine? Some of us are trying to live healthy lifestyles. Why can’t the Commons or the Café have a meal plan option? Then I wouldn’t have to skip lunch or run for it to get back on time for classes. In addition, to the slim meal plan dining location choices, the hours these places have are HORRIBLE. I like to stay on the weekend, and I know I’m not the only one. I understand this is a commuter college so I don’t expect all places to be open, but puh-lease! I can’t grab anything until 11am on a weekend day. What if I had to work at 10:30am and didn’t get a lunch until later? I would be so hungry by then I would be cranky and a poorly performing employee. It’s a little presumptuous to assume that because we’re college students we all sleep in super late. A lot of us actually like to get up early and enjoy our whole day, and those days would start off a lot better if we could get breakfast on our campus.
Lastly, the dining halls for residents are disgusting in every single way I can think of. Forget the occasional night when we have steak and shrimp or a chocolate fountain for Valentine’s Day, the vast majority of the time, we’re served slop. Prisoners get better food than we do and they don’t even spend a thousand dollars on it. Most meals are under cooked, over cooked, under seasoned, or just flat out slimy. Places like P Street or Drumlin rarely change their meal options and after a month, you’ve eaten everything they’ve had to offer so many times that you’d rather make yourself a dirt sandwich than ever even look at another dining hall burger. I have also noticed that the dining halls are not cleaned very often and while I understand that a couple hundred college students can make a mess during the day, there are lulls and plenty of breaks where they can wipe down a few tables and mop up some of the sticky messes that get on the floors. I’m not saying to totally douse the place in bleach, but a little maintenance during the day never hurt anybody.
Overall, I think the dining services offered here on campus are very bad and poorly thought through. If the budget is the reason for this horror, then charge us a hundred dollars more or something. We already have one of the cheapest educations in the state, a hundred dollars more would make a huge difference and not be that big of deal tacked onto our bill. If it’s just laziness on the university’s part then shame on them. We’re students working hard toward our futures, we need the basic human necessities available to us when we need them and because we aren’t a large group of felons we deserve better than the slop we’re served or the availability we’re given. I’m not asking for 5 star quality I’m just asking for some effort on UWW’s part.