— Collin Fossett

Campus dining should offer a higher variety of meal swipe options. This would accommodate more students and their dietary needs.

Currently, most places on campus offer only a handful of meal swipe options.

Many dining places only offer meals that are high in gluten or carbs. If you are doing a low carb Keto or Atkins diet, your only meal swipe options are in the Student Activities Center or McAllister’s Deli.

An example of how to alleviate this issue is to have Twisted Taco offer burrito bowls for meal swipes. Students could adjust burrito bowls to fit their personal diets.

The issue applies to many diets. Shelby Gardner, a student with a gluten-free diet, has similar concerns.

“Places like Papa John’s, Wendy’s, and Chick-fil-A could offer gluten-free buns, wraps, and pizza crusts that use corn, rice, or chickpea substitutes, like Culver’s and Dominos uses,” said Gardner.

“But until then, I have to use my flex points to buy chili from Wendy’s, wings from Papa John’s, and grilled chicken nuggets from Chick-fil-A. Or cut burgers with a fork and knife.”

Dining services dietician Ethan Mattingly recommends that students should get creative at dining locations.

“If you feel you should reduce your carbohydrate intake, pretty much every meal swipe option has ample amounts of protein to help you feel full. Simply removing the carbohydrate source (bun or wrap) will do the trick,” said Mattingly.

It is possible to modify existing dishes. However, food services need to find ways to add more options for more diets at more locations.

The problem carries over to Ville Grille. Ville Grille has a variety of options, but your servers control the serving sizes. These servings represent a traditional, not flexible, food plate.

Mattingly says the Ville Grille’s variety should be able to satisfy all food lifestyles. He also claims it’s in an easily accessible location.

”It’s a five to seven minute walk from any point on campus and will easily satisfy any food lifestyle you choose to follow.  The options are completely customizable, so all you have to do is ask for the items you want and say ‘no thanks’ to the items you don’t,” said Mattingly.

Gardner contests that the variety of options at the Ville Grille aren’t always available.

“Ville Grille has options if I am lucky, although sometimes I am only able to eat things like fruit and ice cream,” said Gardner.

Ville Grille would make life easier for students on alternative diets if they allowed students to dictate how large of a serving they would like. This would also cut down crowded lines.

”As for meeting students food preferences, U of L dining definitely strives to provide what students are asking for to deliver a pleasing dining experience.  Students can provide feedback by filling out the [Voice of Consumer] online response form or speak with a manager on campus,” said Mattingly.

U of L has many steps to take to truly provide a pleasing dining experience for their students on campus.