By: Alexis Stallard, Editor-In-Chief
Last week, staff writer Reiley Bartel wrote an article with the headline “Unpopular opinion? The food in Mabee is actually good.” I am here today to let her know that her opinion is indeed unpopular. Her freshman-year optimism is heartwarming, but I’d like to hit her with some of my junior-year cynicism.
The freshman 15 is considered a rite of passage in every college student’s life. It is feared by many and dreaded by all, but yet I escaped my freshman year without ever suffering such a fate. How did I avoid the seemingly unavoidable, you may ask? Simply put: The cafeteria food frequently made me settle for cereal for dinner.
While some of the cafeteria food here at Newman is quite honestly the best I’ve ever had (don’t get me started on the sandwich options at lunch), most of it left me wanting more. Mostly, I craved more options.
I was lucky enough to have an incredible kitchen staff at my high school, which made the best cinnamon rolls to start off your day and the best buffalo sauce God has ever sent to this Earth. So, when I arrived at Newman and went to get dinner for the first time, I was sorely disappointed.
There was only one option for dinner and it was clearly leftovers from lunch. Giving the cafeteria the benefit of the doubt, I tried the turkey dinner on another night. While delicious, it would be the only dinner I ever finished. A few more meals left me even more disappointed, so I resorted to cereal or an uncrustable most nights my freshman year.
Was it a healthy choice? No, but what more can a girl do?
I hated my own brother, whose cafeteria at Ottawa University was my personal heaven. They had a Chick-fil-A, a pasta bar, an omelet bar, a Starbucks, and so much more. I envied him for the vast array of choices at his fingertips and warned him to never take it for granted. I took my choices in high school for granted and I wished every day of my freshman year that I could walk back into that cafeteria to enjoy a whole plate of shrimp poppers.
To be clear, not every meal was a horror-fest, but for $2,000 per semester, it was unacceptable. Unfortunately, unless you live in Fugate, you must purchase a meal plan when living on campus. What’s worse is that Fugate is for students who are over 21 years old or are in junior standing. That meant I had to pay thousands for food that I had no interest in eating my sophomore year. I ate at the cafeteria once all last year and will not eat it at all this year since I live in Fugate.
If Newman wants to have more students purchasing and using their meal plans, some changes need to be made. Providing more options is their best way to get more students choosing them over the ramen noodles and uncrustables. If not, they can keep robbing students of their money and providing them with a sub-par cafeteria experience.
PHOTO: Courtesy photo, University Relations