A Student Cry for Better and More Authentic Food

By Nisha Punwani

The University of Tampa offers a lot of food options. We have The Grill, our fried, greasy food option for students, Chick-Fil-A, an American favorite, and the off-brand version of Chipotle, which we call Salsa Rico. Then there’s Star Ginger, a “Pan-Asian restaurant” on campus that hardly anyone enjoys.

The school should offer better food options or even more authentic Asian food. Students living on campus are forced to have a meal plan; some meal plans give access to every on-campus restaurant. Star ginger, one of those restaurants, is one of the least enjoyable in my opinion. Meal plans are not cheap, and with how much they cost, better food should be offered to students.

When asked what they thought of Star Ginger, students had complaints. According to a student who chose to remain anonymous, “Star Ginger’s food gave me stomach aches. Every time I got the orange chicken from there, it was always cold and had empty fried flour pieces.” 

Another student said, “The food is always cold and the quality is subpar. Honestly it’s quite disappointing, yet for some reason I come back to give them another chance in hopes that it was just a fluke that day.”

Star Ginger is below-par university dining food. Every time I went to Star Ginger, the food was either cold or tasted inedible. The best part of the dish was the rice.

Dining options are a significant part of a student choosing a college to attend, Parents also find dining essential. Leaving their children alone with limited eating options can deter their  desire to pay to send their children to said school.

Pandinis is another dining option offered on campus that isn’t enjoyed by many. Almost everything provided in Pandinis is also offered in ultimate dining, so why not change Pandinis into another restaurant? The better the food options, the more people will want to pay for the meal plan, and in turn, the more money the school earns.

The University of Tampa is a beautiful campus that many love. The food options are limited, and while the university may pride itself on having a Dairy Queen, it should also offer other options. Instead of a restaurant chain, provide better and well cooked food that students enjoy eating.

Meal plans are not cheap, whether you live on campus or not, and not having different options can make it feel like a waste of money. The University of South Florida, a public university twenty minutes from our school, offers various possibilities. While the school is bigger and has many more students, the options in that school are much more than what our school offers. On their Tampa campus, USF offers dining options such as Bento Sushi, Subway, and Pollo Tropical. 

UT can do better. They have the funds to do so. Give students more food options and increase diversity by offering authentic food from different countries. Make a college student’s experience worth it by giving them a reason to want to stay on your campus. The best way to do that is through their stomach.

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