As a student here at USF, I have been witnessing a lot of issues being brought to our attention concerning our dining centers.
If you didn’t see the Facebook picture of the bloody chicken, then you’re one of the few — it basically took over the school and caused a huge outrage among students, faculty and parents.
The picture was posted by a freshman, Zach Nelson, and along with it, he posted a long paragraph ranting about how unsatisfying Dining Services really is. It was definitely quite a shocker and it motivated some to look into our dining services further.
Since I’m a freshman, I was forced to pay for the required meal plan. According to the Dining Services website, the cheapest option for the meal plan is about $1,550 per semester. That’s more than $3,000 out the window our first year. This obviously isn’t very easy to pay for when you’re a struggling college student like myself. You would at least think the food would be pretty good quality for that price, right?
I’m not the first to state we certainly don’t receive the kind of food that we should, especially considering the amount we pay. Ironically, before the whole “bloody chicken” incident, my roommate and I started taking pictures of the ghastly things we would find in our food.Not only is the food very ‘sketchy’ if you will, it’s just not healthy or appetizing. The few times we have vegetables, you can tell they are straight out of a metal can. People wonder why we gain the Freshman 15, but when the only edible food available is pizza and French fries, weight gain is inevitable.
However, I must say that I mainly eat at Fresh Foods, considering it’s so close to my dorm room. Other dining halls like Juniper-Poplar and Champion’s Choice are known to have better quality food.
Luckily after the chicken picture received over 1,000 ‘likes’ on Facebook, the dining management took action.They also held a forum for concerned students so that they could talk about their issues with the dining centers and hopefully resolve them.
I have personally noticed quite a big improvement since this event. The fruit is actually fresh, the name-brand cereal is back and staff members are a lot more friendly and concerned with how we are feeling about the food. I have noticed I eat more at the dining hall than I ever did before because I actually enjoy some meals now.
Hopefully these changes will continue to stay in place and we’ll continue to move forward from here.
Kinneret Mercier is a freshman majoring in business.