ST. THOMAS–The cafeteria is the center of entertainment and dining at most universities and colleges. The on-campus students at the University of the Virgin Islands are tired of complaining and giving suggestions to Student Housing and Student Government Association about their dissatisfaction with the food service.
Academics are the most important part of a student’s college career. On-campus students aren’t spending thousands of dollars to just hang out around campus. Students are spending this abundant amount of money so they can actually learn something.
However, that doesn’t mean university administration should focus their attention solely on education and forget about the importance of providing students with quality food service. The dining hall has a great atmosphere and view but lacks cleanliness. Several students have gotten sick from eating the food and the lack of professionalism by the employees is a serious problem.
The impolite staff in the cafeteria has added to the bad reputation for on-campus dining. Several students have gotten into verbal confrontations with cafeteria staff. Many students and staff have witnessed the cafeteria staff use profane language and aggressive tones toward each other and students.
“One of the chefs was very disrespectful to me during the lunch hour for complaining about my food being cold and I was simply trying to inquire the type of chafing dish they use. The food service is beyond reprehensible and the employee needs to learn how to be professional in their place of work,” said Sharifah Matthew, biology major.
The dining hall meals are predictable every day. There isn’t any variety or options on a daily basis. They often serve the same baked chicken that they served for lunch at dinner. Most students take the food and throw it in the garbage or go to the grill section which is not healthy.
There aren’t many healthy choices for lunch or dinner. Some students may even have health concerns such as high blood pressure, but there aren’t any low sodium food options for them.
“I was hospitalized during the spring semester of 2013 due to food poisoning from eating curry tofu from the dining hall and I received nothing but excuses from the dining hall manager. The on-campus nurse also dismissed my case when I requested to be removed from the meal plan,” stated Zubida O’Neal.
Students deserve and expect to eat from the cafeteria without having to worry about food making them sick.
It is imperative that the University of the Virgin Islands takes action to improve and start providing students with an inexpensive meal plan with good food. The university’s cafeteria food lacks variety and options for students on campus. And to top it off, they provide expensive, low quality food and keep bad hours.The university often speaks about creating a campus culture and promoting student involvement. However, the first step is being promptly responsive to all student ideas or complaints by taking affirmative action.