Dining: Takeout options should be offered in our dining halls

April 10, 2018

Joy Webb

jwebb4@uccs.edu  

    Nutrition is essential to function properly, grow, learn and be productive. However, for busy college students who often have unpredictable schedules, it can be difficult to receive proper nutrition on a daily basis.

    UCCS should provide freshmen with the option to take food out of the dining halls without having to pre-order or schedule when they will need it.

     Students are busy; we can’t always plan our meals ahead of time, and many of us have class schedules that conflict with the dining halls’ hours.

   UCCS has two dining halls: The Lodge, located in Summit Village, and the Roaring Fork, located in the Village at Alpine Valley. The Lodge is open 7 a.m. to 9 p.m Monday through Thursday and 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, while the Roaring Fork is open 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday with weekend hours of 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

    These hours can be inconvenient to students who are on one of UCCS’ 16 athletic teams, work odd hours or have a conflicting class schedule.

    These hours, specifically at the Roaring Fork, mean that students who miss the designated meal times won’t have the chance to eat, and because taking out food isn’t allowed, they won’t have the opportunity to.

  If students are allowed to take a sack lunch by simply walking into the dining hall and taking food to-go in containers or a paper bag, then they can also eat while they are doing homework or on the go.

    Freshmen living in the dorms pay approximately $12,000 a year for their required unlimited meal plan and housing package. With the option of taking leftovers, we can get our money’s worth and have a more balanced diet at the times that we conveniently need to eat.

    Some students also have class during breakfast, lunch or dinner and do not have time to eat a meal, therefore skipping the meal or resorting to a non-nutritious alternative.

     Unhealthy eating habits have contributed to the obesity epidemic in the United States: about one-third of U.S. adults (33.8 percent) are obese and approximately 17 percent (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents aged two to 19 years old  are obese, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

   Of course, students can go to Cafe 65, Sanitorium Grounds, or Clyde’s to pick up food. But when we pay as much as we do for our meal plans, it seems like a waste of money.

    Students at CU Boulder have the option for “grab-n-go’s,” which allow students to take food with them out of the dining halls. This allows students to be flexible with their schedules and not have to stress about getting the most out of their meal plan

     The school could also provide paper bags that are either recyclable or compostable for students to easily take food to go, or students can bring their own containers to take food out.

      One of my friends on campus works at the Costco located in University Village and has to skip dinner numerous times a week. By the time she gets off work, both of the dining halls are closed.

   If she could stop by the Roaring Fork or The Lodge on her way to work and grab some healthy food to go, she wouldn’t have to go without or substitute unhealthy alternatives like cheap fast food.

     With more than 2,000 on-campus student employees, and countless students working off campus, there need to be alternatives provided by our dining halls.

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