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Sunday, May 26, 2024
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Opinion: Food on campus is the worst

Caf pizza on a Sunday afternoon.
Caf pizza on a Sunday afternoon.

As someone who is in their second year at Mercer, I think I have completely exhausted all of the places on our campus where they serve food. I’m the type of person who tries to eat three times a day, and I also try to make sure that I’m eating something healthy every day.

I grew up eating homemade pasta that used my grandmother’s special marinara sauce recipe, pork tenderloin with fresh mashed potatoes, made from scratch brownies and cookies, you catch my drift. So it was definitely a shock to come to Mercer and see what options I had for eating on campus (which, as we all know, is required if we live on campus).

We really only have about six or seven options for finding food on campus. First, we have the cafeteria. While there is fried chicken with the occasional tasty macaroni and cheese thrown in on Wednesdays, most of the time the go-to food for myself and my friend group in the cafeteria is pizza. If we’re feeling healthy, we’ll grab a salad that’s made with wilted spinach and iceberg lettuce. Overall, the food in the cafeteria is mediocre at best on most days.

Next, you’ve got Einsteins, which is nice if you’re in the mood for a lot of carbs, but filling up on pizza bagels can only last so long until you’re either bloated or start feeling super sick to your stomach.

Then, you’ve got the PODs and Which Wich. I have no problem with Which Wich most of the time, but sandwiches every day are not exactly the epitome of healthy. Same with any of the frozen foods kept in the PODs.

To me, the Chick-Fil-A and Panda Express on campus are always a toss-up. It always depends on the day of the week, the time that you go to the food court and who is working that day that decides whether or not you get something that is good.

But how long are we supposed to rely on fast food? Yes, we are in college, and fast food is the quick and easiest thing to grab, but we also have to find things that are healthy for our bodies while we’re up until 3 a.m. cramming for an exam.

There are tons of other options that Mercer could employ other than the things we have on our campus. We could switch our food company from Aramark to something that is better suited to the needs of the students on our campus.

Piedmont College in Demorest, Georgia has a very small population of students. However, they are definitely on top of their game when it comes to providing food for their students. My friend Maggie Pfiel is a freshman at Piedmont who has a gluten allergy, and she says that the service her school uses, named Chartwell, is very accommodating and works with her to ensure that she has plenty of options.

While Mercer could never really have a dining hall at the level of a larger state college, such as UGA, I do think that the school needs to step up their game when it comes to food options on campus. Especially considering that we are required to have a meal plan if we live on campus, which we are required to do for three years of our time at Mercer.

If Mercer is unwilling to get better food options for our students, particularly those who have certain dietary restrictions, they at least need to break the contract that states we have to have a meal plan if we live on campus.

Personally, I think that we pay too much money to go to Mercer and have a meal plan to get mediocre food that more often than not will give you a stomach ache. The University needs to ensure that the needs of their students are met.

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