Students find fault with dining center
October 8, 2009 11:15 AM
It's hard for students to find a nice, affordable place on campus to get a healthy meal, and while SF State's dining center provides programs for just that, some students who dine there say it's simply not worth it.
City Eats Dining Center is owned and operated by Chartwells, a food provider for schools nationwide. From the looks of the Chartwells Web site and the testimony from local employees, the food options at the dining center are healthy, innovative and offer local ingredients. But some of the students who dine there say the contrary.
"First of all, people call it 's****y eats,'" said freshman Kady Moore, 18, an English major required to carry a meal plan card. "I was talking to my friend last night because I was frustrated that all I got was a roll and a brownie because everything else was so gross."
SF State University Housing requires all students who live in the dorms without kitchens to carry a Chartwells meal plan with at least ten meals a week. Two hundred meals a semester costs $1,400 and provides students with about two meals a day.
The Chartwells Corporation promotes a program called Balanced Choices, which is meant to offer foods that balance protein, vegetables and starch. Balanced Choices offers meals in vegetarian, vegan and international cuisine.
"Balanced Choices provides food choices outside of the pizza, pasta and burritos that students are typically eating," said Edward Vicedo, from Chartwells at SF State.
But when first-year student Amanda Ulricksen, 19, passed by the Balanced Choices station on a recent Thursday afternoon, she complained, "It's always pasta. Always."
Along with complaints of the food selection, some students say it is hard to schedule eating at the dining center around their class schedules because meals are only offered at certain times. If a student visits the dining center between meals, the options are limited to light meals like the salad bar, cereal, parfait station and bagels.
"Sometimes they have good salads, but there is always a lot of the same stuff," Sydney Bliss, 18, a first-year kinesiology major, said.
Although Chartwells has it critics, the corporation has implemented positive policies in the center such as buying only fair trade coffees and using local products when available.
The company also offers a "Submit a Recipe" tab on their Web site. Students who aren't finding what they like to eat can request "meals like mom makes."
For more information on meal plans, visit http://www.dineoncampus.com.
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