It’s Monday morning and you just woke up late for your 8 a.m. class. In your dash to get ready you hear your stomach grumble and remember one very important fact — you’ve got to eat something.
Knowing you have no time to stop at Peregrine — not that they’re open until 10 a.m. anyways — you open GrubHub hoping to grab something quick, only to realize every other on-campus dining option has up to an hour wait.
This is the dilemma facing many students this semester. With limited hours, limited options and long wait times — on-campus dining just isn’t what it used to be.
“It’s like the college wants us to go to class hungry,” says second-year astronomy major, Ashlee Dykeman.
Like many, Dykeman struggles to get breakfast before her morning classes. Not just due to wait times and a lack of options, Dykeman notes that the fact that Peregrine is not open in the morning forces early-risers to use their dining dollars for breakfast daily. An option that not everyone can afford.
“Breakfast is supposed to be the most important meal of the day,” states Dykeman, “depending on your meal plan, going to Element 93 every day isn’t an option.”
Element 93 is one of three on-campus eateries open before 8 a.m. The only other two are Starbucks and Atrium Brew.
Breakfast isn’t the only meal of the day that the campus leaves students struggling to find. This semester, every dining option on campus closes by 9 p.m., with some eateries, including the dining hall, closing at 8 p.m. This is in stark contrast to previous semesters when places such as Pomordoro’s would be open until 12 a.m. and the dining hall would be open until 10:30 p.m. for “late night.” Many students may not be able to eat all three meals of the day on the campus’ strict time schedule.
The select amount of dining options only builds upon the issue of long lines almost everywhere you go.
“I’ve seen the effect [of] having less places/options to eat on campus than in previous semesters,” says fourth-year biology major Christopher Ocampo.
“Currently we have about four less dining spots than a few semesters ago. [That’s] why I think we’re seeing more congestion in some of these places on campus.”
In past semesters, the SUB was home to Diego’s which served burrito bowls, Greenlight which served soup and salads and NPressed which offered customizable smoothies. Nester’s offered burgers and sandwiches rather than just ready-made snacks. Last year, Chick N’ Bap, a korean-style chicken over rice eatery moved from Ridgeview to the SUB but now even that option has disappeared.
Though many of these places were closed last year as well, with the majority of students returning to campus, the select options may be even more striking.
The limited amount of eateries isn’t only boring, it also doesn’t lend itself to a nutritious diet.
“Upset how they reduced the amount of healthy options on campus,” emphasized fourth-year, communication disorders major, Melissa Lugo, “In 2019 they had a salad place in the atrium … come back to campus and it’s replaced with sushi. I complain every day I’m on campus, I miss it!”
On top of that, for those with dietary restrictions, it almost doesn’t lend itself to a diet at all.
“Unless you have a meal plan and have time to go to the dining hall for every meal, there [aren’t] always options,” explained fourth-year, political science major Makayla Scully. Scully is allergic to both gluten and dairy, which makes finding meals on campus that fit her dietary needs especially difficult.
Out of all the food on campus, Scully is mainly limited to sushi, salads, gluten-free pasta and sandwiches with gluten-free bread. Buying gluten-free options can cost up to a dollar extra, making the dining experience even more of a struggle.
“There are less options than we think there are,” explained Scully, “especially with how long the wait times are, options [for] people with allergies to order a quick bite before class have been dwindling.”