By Abby Lindenmeier
The dining options offered here at Cleveland State seem to be a conversation piece for many students on campus. With a standard dining hall, convenience shops, and other dining options, there are many places to eat or pick up food. But are these places really catered for our resident students here on campus?
When residents live on campus, they are required to pay for a dining plan along with their housing fees. They are required to purchase a certain number of meals per week and dining dollars per semester. The meals are upwards of ten dollars a piece. Many would think that paying so much money for a meal equals getting quality food. That is not the case here. Walking into the dining hall, many of the meal options are unlabeled, have been sitting out for hours, and are unhealthy. “I come for lunch and come back for dinner and the same foods are left out. They don’t correlate with what the menu lists online” says Graciella a resident and sophomore in the nursing program. If you were to go into the dining hall, you can sit there for a couple hours and still notice it sitting there if people haven’t eaten it. This is very unfortunate because the residents here, have the dining hall as basically their only food option, unless they were to go out to eat or buy groceries. Graciella, also mentioning that she’s gluten free states,“they advertise that they have gluten free options but when you walk into the caf, they only have only one or two things to eat, not including everyone’s dietary needs”. Unfortunately, residents here who may have dietary restrictions are required to pay for the meal plan on top of buying what they need to eat that satisfies their dietary needs.
The dining hall isn’t the only location that students are unhappy with. Many residents here, including myself, have problems with how the other locations are operated. When interviewed, seven out of eight students living here on campus agree that these services could be greatly improved. Drew Valentine, a sophomore studying mechanical engineering agrees that there are many issues surrounding the dining services offered here on campus. When asked what’s wrong with the dining services, he states there’s “a lack of locations where dining dollars can be used, very few healthy options at markets such as Fenn shop and Outtakes, poor quality of food and limited hours at the dining hall”. Taking into account that these locations are provided to mostly residents, they don’t offer what we need. Out of the twelve dining locations on campus, only two are opened on the weekends and during the weekdays, those ten other locations close are closed before 6pm and some even earlier.
When asked how these issues could be improved, many students had answers. Drew states that they should “model a dining plan after ones already in place at other schools. For example, at Case and Ohio State students are able to use meal swipes and dining dollars at restaurants such as Chipotle, Panera and Dunkin’ Donuts. Doing something similar at CSU would greatly expand the amount of dining options that students have.” Students also agreed that there should be healthier options, later hours, and fresher meals.