By Chun Schlesinger-Fried || Contributing Writer
Franklin and Marshall College prides itself in providing students with an excellent education, in which students have the opportunity to explore their passions and have the ability to form close relationships with faculty. While the values of “community” and “hard work” are often emphasized on campus, the quality of food that is distributed to students is overlooked. The lack of attention to the food on campus has raised various problems, which must be taken care of and no longer left ignored.
Almost everyone knows about the infamous “freshman 15” that occurs to students who enter their first year of college. If you were one of the few people who did not go through this unhealthy body transformation, then you were very lucky. But if you were like me, whose lifestyle changed from having a strict diet to consuming anything I wanted without parental control, then it was easy to fall victim to the freshman 15. While the freshman 15 is maddening, it is not the central problem about which students and parents should be concerned. The freshman 15 is simply a reflection of a major issue regarding the quality of food that the administration has allowed to be provided to students.
The struggle to maintain a strict diet is a constant problem that students must face on campus. Students who strive to eat healthy often turn to a salad or fruit for their daily meals. However, how many times can you consume salad until you become tired of it? It isn’t just people who want to eat healthy that have limited food options. Students who are vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free face an even bigger challenge. Although the Dining Hall provides My Zone, Sustenance, and K.I.V.O. for people with dietary restrictions, there are not enough options. Additionally, anyone is allowed to consume the food, despite having those sections for people who actually need it. As a result of the limited selection of decent food, I went from being a pescatarian for over two years to stopping by sophomore year. I believe that says a lot about the school’s food, and honestly it’s quite sad. While I was able to change my diet restrictions, people who cannot do so because of health reasons must continue to deal with the limited choices.
It is very clear that Sodexo does not have the capability or interest in providing students with decent, quality food. The fact that Franklin and Marshall is located in a county filled with a variety of healthy, organic food options, yet is still monopolized by Sodexo blows my mind. How can the administration demand students to maintain academic excellence while also allowing students to consume low quality food? If the school continues to work with Sodexo, there needs to be stricter health regulations. There were times when I could not finish a slice of pizza from D-Hall because the cheese was so rubbery. Luckily, I am living off campus and am able to make my own meals. However, students that are still on campus should be able to enjoy their meals.
I am not asking for Franklin and Marshall to provide students with sophisticated food. I just believe that we have the right to have access to a greater number of healthy food options. While installing Blue Line and removing SalsaRico were positive changes, they are just the first step to improving students’ eating styles on campus.
Junior Chun Schlesinger-Fried is a Contributing Writer. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.