A new dining option is coming to campus, and some students are expressing concerns about lack of variety in new campus food options.
University officials plan to replace Alvin’s Café with a Chick-fil-A. The decision was made based on a Jan. 12 dining survey asking students to voice their opinions on potential food providers.
The Chick-fil-A will open in August 2017, Provost Kent Buchanan said.
Some students have mixed feelings about the change of vendor.
“I’m very excited about Chick-fil-A, but I am worried about the lack of variety,” said Kelly Pan, nursing freshman. “At least with Alvin’s, they had a good variety.”
Not all students are excited about the food service option.
Allison Sloan, music theater freshman, abides by a vegan diet and said she is concerned about having food options.
“It kind of sucks because there were a lot of options that I had at Alvin’s that I didn’t really get from the caf,” Sloan said. “So either they have to step up their game at the caf or I’m going to have to eat off campus, which I really can’t afford.”
Sloan said she hopes Chartwells, the new campus food service provider, can meet students’ dietary restrictions like being vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, or having certain food allergies.
Chartwells will replace Sodexo in Fall 2017.
Sloan also said it’s important for performance majors to have more options because they don’t have time to go to the caf, and they need quick, healthy food available.
“Only being able to go to Chick-fil-A is going to really affect their performance,” she said. “Weight or not, it’s not healthy for you, and there aren’t really a lot of options at a Chick-fil-A.”
She thinks it would be useful to speak with Chartwells representatives to discuss more variety, Sloan said.
Lori Walker, director of auxiliary services, said students will have options and the ability to speak with Chartwells officials. She said students can voice their concerns starting May 15, which is when the transition between food providers will happen officially.
In addition to the Chick-fil-A, there are plans to include a market area for other foods, Walker said.
Sierra Paul, theater education freshman, said she has a mild intolerance to gluten and prefers to have gluten-free options on campus, which she hopes will be available in the market area.
“I can eat Chick-fil-A and feel fine, but people with Celiac disease or those with more severe intolerance will probably not be able to eat there,” Paul said.
Stephanie Nozomi-Krichena, music education/percussion performance freshman, said she has been vegetarian for nearly four years. She said she became vegetarian because she saw health benefits such as lowering the risk of heart disease and lower blood pressure.
“I never enjoyed eating meat anyways,” Nozomi-Krichena said. “I feel like I have more energy that lasts longer and more focus.”
She said she’s worried the addition of a Chick-fil-A will limit her food options.
“I’ve only ever eaten in Chick-fil-A once, so I don’t really remember if they have any options for vegetarians, but I doubt it,” Nozomi-Krichena said.
Nozomi-Krichena said taking away Alvin’s equates to taking away variety and convenience for students.
“I don’t have time to make my own food or go out to eat,” she said.
If the market place is added, Nozomi-Krichena said she would like to see more fruit and vegetable options.