UAB lacks variety in food options
Posted on Sep 26, 2012 in Opinion
With a current 8 percent increase in tuition, UAB college students are evaluating the amount of money in college fees, room and board, and dining plans. The latter is one of the most talked about subjects among the freshman class, especially since on-campus freshman are required to buy one of the two largest meal plan options.
Since the on-campus freshman pay either $1,576 for 186 meals a semester or $1,722 for 233 meals a semester, you would assume UAB freshman and other students would have a large variety to choose from and very little to complain about campus dining. Despite assumptions, many don’t like the lack of food variety and lack of healthy options.
On UAB’s Dining Web page, they have a list of 10 reasons why you should purchase a meal plan, one of them being “Choices! Choices! So many places on campus to eat!” When compared to other universities like Auburn or Alabama State, UAB doesn’t compare. UAB has four places for which you can use your meal plan at: Blazer Café Hot Spot (Taco Bell, Chick-fil-A, and The Grill), ZeBi, Commons on the Green, and The Diner. When comparing the menus of each of these four locations the similarities are very apparent. The Diner, Commons on the Green, and the Blazer Café Hot Spot provides some type of burger, whether it’s a chicken burger, hamburger, cheeseburger, or even bacon cheeseburger they’re all provided. This lack of variety causes many to be distressed because of the ever present same and unhealthy choices.
As a lack of choices frustrates students, many are also concerned with gaining the “Freshman-15”. The options to eating healthy on campus are slim to none. The Diner and the Commons both have an option of salad, but is that really the only thing healthy in this world? I think not! I myself have tried to escape the unhealthy choices of fried food by going to ZeBi, which is located in the BEC. They have flat-bread and deli sandwiches which offer a wide variety of healthy choices. The problem is their location. Many are unwilling to walk all the way to the BEC which is located past the Humanities Building.
There also isn’t a large amount of vegetarian options. The Diner has veggie burgers, but these are normally soaked in grease and cooked on the same surface where the meat is cooked. What’s the point of trying to eat a healthy veggie burger when the grease makes it just as unhealthy as a bacon cheeseburger? The Commons occasionally has a tasteful vegetarian option but many times there isn’t. The lack of healthy and vegetarian options is somewhat illogical to me. UAB is a very concentrated medically concentrated university, yet despite all the doctors and health gurus around, no one can advocate for healthier food options.
The lack of variety of food and healthy options has many freshman students considering not purchasing a meal plan next year, especially with the limited times locations are open and the high price to pay for no food variety and unhealthy options. The majority of the upperclassman I’ve spoken to don’t even have meal plans because of the cost of money and the lack of options.
Understandably UAB is a smaller campus then Alabama State and Auburn, but that doesn’t mean they should be excused from having a small variety of food. Perhaps obesity among 35.7 percent of American adults is due to bad eating habits starting in college.