The dining halls at Texas State should be more equipped with diverse food options in order to better serve the wide array of students attending the university.
The quality of the food in dining halls is not bad for on-campus fare. However, options are narrow for those with specific food needs or preferences. For example, there are few meals offered on campus suitable for vegetarian Bobcats, and for those who choose to live a vegan lifestyle, there are virtually no meal options available. Of the meals that are available, there is little variety. This can be extremely discouraging to students who have just moved away from home and are trying to acclimate to a new lifestyle. When it comes to college, having access to appropriate food choices should be the last thing students have to worry about.
Although dining halls are typically seen as simple cafeteria-type eateries, the diversity present in modern day universities demands variety and accessibility in food choices. Students should explore their options, become more knowledgeable and demand their specific nutrition needs be met when it comes to on-campus dining.
On the other hand, Chartwells should focus on bettering outreach to Bobcats who choose or need to eat a certain way. It would be wise for Chartwells officials to consider rethinking food options at places like Harris and Commons dining halls, where students can consume a wide variety of snack-type items as opposed to set meals. For more food court-like locations such as Jones Dining Hall and The Den, more greens and less fried food options would greatly improve the options of diners with restrictive diets.
A range of tasty and healthy on-campus food options is necessary with such a large population of students relying on meal trades for nutrition. Without a variety of food options available, Texas State will alienate students who require specialized diets, making on-campus living a hassle rather than a convenience.
—Alex Pernice, mass communication junior
Dine on Campus
Texas State’s dining halls are an excellent resource for students.
Essentially, students are buying in bulk, which makes products cheaper as a whole and guarantees a lack of food will be never be an issue. The requirement to purchase a meal plan takes the burden of budgeting food expenses off the plates of freshmen joining the Bobcat ranks.
Dining halls are spaced conveniently across campus, making it easy to grab a bite anywhere between classes. An enormous variety of foods are available from buffet-style to simple burgers and fries. All tastes are catered to, and gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian options are available in every dining hall. Buffet-style eateries such as Commons or Harris dining hall s offer different food choices every day, so students never get bored.
The DineOnCampus website has really amped up its game recently, now providing such details as daily menus, portion sizes and nutrition facts. Vegan, gluten-free and locally provided foods are labeled as such, so health and eco-conscious students can continue to eat conveniently while still meeting their needs. External links to the nutritional information of national brands on campus are provided on the website.
On-campus dining still offers great options for commuters who are not required to purchase meal plans. Purchasing a quick snack is easy, affordable and saves students trips off campus during the day.
Downtown San Marcos would be even more congested with traffic as commuters grabbed a bite to eat between classes without Texas State’s dining halls. Fast food drive-thru queues would be agonizingly long, and good parking spaces would only be attainable by either sacrificing lunch breaks or bringing meals to campus. Meal plans could no longer be covered by financial aid, and the likelihood of eating ramen for breakfast, lunch and dinner would increase as students struggled with budgeting.
The number and variety of dining halls on campus alleviate these potential problems and more. Meal plans are well worth the cost for students, whether they live on or off campus.
—Ashley Trumps, mass communication senior