Students have mixed opinions on campus food selections
Published: Thursday, October 11, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 11, 2012 00:10
Aramark provides a wide variety of foods services at Sam Houston State, but student feedback on eating options is still mixed.
Talking with students on campus, they tend to be more cognizant of price and convenience than health. Students tend to agree that there aren’t enough healthy eating options at affordable prices on campuses, but they are at least available.
The main dining locations are Old Main Market on the north side of the campus, Paw Print inside the Lowman Student Center and South Paw. Those places offer Pizza Hut, Chic-fil-a, Burger King, Subway, Tortilla Fresca and Sushic.
There are also kiosks in the library, Lee Drain and CHSS buildings.
“I think the options are good,” transfer sophomore Matt Hayes said while eating a Subway sandwich outside South Paw. Hayes said he’s never been to Old Main Market because he doesn’t live on-campus or have classes in that direction.
“The Subway is good,” he said. “That and Quiznos are usually the healthiest and then there’s Chic-fil-a. But they also have salad bars like everywhere, so I think the options are very good.”
There was also sophomore Courtney Campbell, who dined at Paw Print.
“Honestly, I think the choices are ok,” Campbell said. “If I ever just want something at night and Old Main is closed, I can just come in here real fast and satisfy my hunger. I think it’s OK.”
Others disagree. Two other students leaving the Subway at South Paw said the options weren’t healthy, but with being on-campus, convenience is more of a priority. They were junior business majors but requested anonymity, since after all, no one wants to offend the people who make their food.
Jennifer, who ate with friends at Paw Print, had mostly good things to say but only gave her first name.
“They do have a lot of convenient options, I’ll give them that,” she said. “They always have something in every price range. You can always get something.”
Aramark said it’s addressing all of students concerns by communicating with them directly. When Old Main Market opened in 2011 to replace Belvin, part of the focus was to add healthier food options.
“When you think about healthier food, I do feel we have captured that,” Aramark marketing specialist Jimmy Williams said. “We found out (students) wanted an available vegetable station, so we have that now. We’re trying to find ways to reach students. With our concept, we’ve built it in such a way that you can watch us cook the food.”
Through October, students can offer their input regarding food services on-campus through the Dining Style Survey. The kiosks in Lee Drain and CHSS were brought in through these kinds of surveys, Aramark resident district manager Brad Blackburn said. Students wanted more convenient, grab-and-go places with shorter lines.
“We also have an executive chef at Old Main that will work with students on customary diets,” Blackburn said. “If there is something a student is looking for, they’ll meet with the student. And if there is a better way for us to communicate with students, let us know in the surveys because we value the feedback.”