Thu. Jan 27th, 2022

As of late, Aramark food service has been shaping the food service circumstances to better suit their own whims. The food service at Ram’s Head food court has been atrocious. The last place on campus where it was possible to be made a decent wrap has been taken away. The salad and wrap stations are now an event that has taken the only two reliable food stations and turned them into an experiment in mediocrity. The truth is that if it were not for my personal desire to maintain some semblance of a healthy lifestyle I would gladly eat from Grill Works or Chik Fil-A. The only decent and healthy food that is available to me now is at Montague’s deli, but no self respecting individual can lie to themselves and claim that getting all their food from a deli is a good idea.

Then there are the new hours at Ram’s Head. I have classes all day and I work two jobs. Sometimes the only chance that I get a meal in the day is at 10 p.m.. If Lawrence closes at 7 p.m. and Ram’s Head at 8 p.m., where does Aramark expect me to eat?

I live on North Campus and I’m required to purchase a meal plan. I can only afford the cheapest meal plan available because I’m paying for myself to attend this university. I can’t afford to use three meals to pay for food at the Diner. I have tried very hard to alleviate these issues by simply eating at Lawrence. I can only afford to have one meal a day, mostly because my meal plan only breaks down to eleven meals a week.

It is a common occurrence for students on this campus to have 4:15 p.m. classes. Wednesdays are the days that I have my 4:15 p.m. class and I dread having to figure out when and where I will find my meals. It used to be that Lawerence would open at 3:30 p.m. for dinner and I could go before class and have an affordable meal. Now I have to wait until after my class ends at seven and try to rush over to Ram’s Head so I can make it on to a line for food before the employees decide to say that they are closing (frequent complaints have been made to me about the food stations closing before 8 p.m. and denying people in line food so that they can leave).

I am not some elitist college student who simply wants to attack the working class man. My family’s only source of income is that of the food service industry. Thanks to the experience one gets from a father who knows this business, I am unable to make excuses for the lack of service and quality that I experience on this campus every week.

I am worried about my health because the fact of the matter is, short of choosing to live off greasy food and bad salad I don’t see myself figuring out how to eat a quality meal.

I would just like for Aramark to return its hours, train its employees accordingly for their jobs and formulate a menu that will be better suited for students who are vegetarians.

There are also religious groups on campus that would appreciate being told when there are pork products on or in their food. Would it hurt to have separate spatulas for certain foods (i.e.- eggs, sausage and bacon)?

Most importantly, maybe Aramark needs to realize that all of these so-called improvements that they believe they are making have failed miserably. A large amount of the student body liked to eat at side cafe and now it is gone; replaced by a pseudo side cafe that is not capable of supplementing the lack of food options from other areas.

I ask that, when the student body finds themselves faced with a petition they sign it. Medhi Essmidi is a second-year undergraduate student majoring in philosophy. He may be contacted through the Op-ed section at QuadOpEd@wcupa.edu.

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