Opportunities to eat a healthy meal at GW’s dining facilities seem to be getting more scarce each year.
The opening of Taco Bell and Chick-Fil-A franchises at J Street, added to Burger King’s arrival last year, have crowded out more nourishing options. The fast-food portions are smaller and usually are loaded with fat, cholesterol and fewer real nutrients. The dining facilities on the first floor of the Marvin Center look more like a mall food court and less like a college cafeteria.
Chick-Fil-A now occupies the space once filled by the Colonial Grill. Where students could find a different, rotating entree each day of the week last year, they now get the same few choices every day. Carved ham and rotisserie chicken were replaced by boxed chicken sandwiches. Corn-on-the-cob and steamed vegetables gone, with greasy French fries as the new side dish of choice.
Vegetarians will find few new alternatives from last year. Their choices still consist of a salad bar, a specialized vegetarian station and a few options at the Pan Geos stations. As a whole, the concerns of vegetarian students have not been addressed.
University officials say they are responding to student demands. And there is definitely reason to believe many students do want more fast food. But there needs to be a better balance between junk food and nutritious meals.
Students who care about their diets should have more choices. College students need to eat well, and GW is only catering to the bad habit of unhealthy eating. The University is not responsible for its students eating habits, but GW is responsible for making healthy choices available.