4 Ways Ohio University's Dining Halls are Lacking

There is a campus-wide love for Shively’s chicken nuggets, Nelson’s all-day breakfast and Boyd’s healthy options, but when comparing Ohio University’s dining halls to other universities, there is a clear difference. These are just 4 visible issues with the OU dining halls:  

1. Hours

Each dining hall runs on their own hours for breakfast, lunch and dinner. When it comes to planning the day with classes and eating, there is close to nothing worse than seeing that classes are during the only time a dining hall is open during a given time or to see that a sprint is necessary after a class to make it to a dining hall before it closes for a meal. At Miami University, our rival, their dining halls are open all day long and do not close until the end of the day. They also have a diner that is open 24 hours that accepts their meal plan. Tyler West, junior and history major at Miami University, visited OU for the weekend and found that the hours “confined us to a certain timeframe for dinner.”

2. Seating (Shively)

If I am being honest, seating in Shively is ridiculous. There is not enough room for the amount of students dining there every day. When eating at Shively, it almost makes more sense to get food in a to-go box than to eat in there. This takes away from student’s experiences of eating in the dining hall with friends because there will not be enough seating for everyone, forcing them to take food and eat elsewhere.

3. Flex Point Usage

Flex points are points given to students with a flex meal plan to use in Baker University Center’s West 82 and cafes around campus. Universities all around have a point system (similar to Flex points) that allows for students to use points at restaurants around campus. For example, Kent State University has dining dollars that can be used at over 20 locations on campus including Auntie Anne’s, Subway and Einstein’s Bros Bagels. OU does not have enough available restaurants as food options for students. If the university is going to close dining halls for each separate meal, they need more restaurant options for students who miss these specific times.

4. Healthy Options

Boyd on West Green offers the best “healthy” choices on campus with other dining halls having just a salad bar. While vegetarian options are offered, food in the dining halls is not healthy even if labeled as vegetarian or vegan. Fried options, processed food, or food covering in butter and oil are not healthy. Ohio University can claim to have healthy food options, but frankly, there are not enough options to constitute as being an actually healthy campus.

While dining halls are always a work in progress, there is no visible changes being made to fix these growing problems for students. OU needs to continue to perfect their meal plans to give students the best campus experience.

(All photos courtesy of Giphy)