Growing up in the suburbs, there are some things about city life that I just don’t get.
Take food trucks, for example. I simply don’t understand the appeal of eating food cooked and sold from a vehicle.
So I was surprised to learn when I came here that food trucks are all the rage in the District. I know people who blog about their food truck experiences. I have friends who tweet at food trucks’ Twitter feeds. I’ve even heard of people who plan their meals around when CapMac or Tasty Kabob will be on campus. For many students here, the food trucks that frequent H Street are a cornerstone of their college diets.
But food trucks – with the exception of Kababji D.C. – are not on the GWorld system even though they want to be. And to better accommodate students’ dining needs, this is something that the University should work to change.
Food is a sizeable expense, and for underclassmen, paying for meals at venues that do not accept Colonial Cash is always a burden. Having food trucks accept GWorld would not only be lucrative for the food truck owners, who would undoubtedly get more business, but more importantly would benefit students who are looking for options that don’t require swiping a credit card or forking over hard-earned cash.
As it stands, many students rely on GWorld to pay for most of their meals, and carrying cash around is an extra effort.
For many students, the meal plan can be restrictive. Most freshmen, sophomores and juniors are required to pay approximately $1,000 in Colonial Cash per semester. It would do the University well to offer as many venues as possible where students could spend that money.
Despite the University’s repeated attempts year after year to renovate J Street and make it more attractive, the reality is, the dining hall is still largely unpopular among students, especially upperclassmen. Instead, it seems as though the Whole Foods on I Street has become the unofficial University cafeteria, with crowds of students congregating there at each meal time.
But when students spend money at Whole Foods, they’re using their prepaid Colonial Cash. They don’t have to pay out of their own pockets. Having food trucks on GWorld would be another welcome alternative that is affordable to students who rely on the meal plan to pay for their food.
The University needs to recognize that the meal plan at GW is vastly different than those of other schools with traditional dining halls. And while J Street does function as a cafeteria, we’re lucky to have the freedom to eat at various other venues that Colonial Cash allows.
Just because students are lucky enough to have more than one dining venue does not mean the University should hesitate to add popular food options like food trucks to the GWorld system. The University should recognize the benefits of our central location in the District and provide students with the opportunity to take advantage of its varied dining choices.
Whole Foods is great, but you can only eat there so many times a day.
Justin Peligri, a sophomore majoring in political communication, is The Hatchet’s contributing opinions editor.