On-campus eateriers lack healthy options

(Alain Pierre-Lys | The Oswegonian)
(Alain Pierre-Lys | The Oswegonian)

“We are dedicated to helping our customers maintain a healthy lifestyle, by providing the information and support needed to make healthy choices,” Auxiliary Services claims on its nutrition information and services website. The same site goes on to say, “Our Registered Dietitian works with our team to ensure a variety of fresh and nutritious options are offered on our residential dining menus.” I beg to differ. Perhaps Auxiliary Services does a wonderful job of providing healthy options in the dining halls, but I am a commuter student who does not visit dining halls and the restaurants on campus that I must eat at are not living up to that decree.

I, along with many other commuter students, am a frequent customer of Crossroads. When I am on campus late, doing homework or attending club meetings, I often buy dinner at Crossroads. It’s open until 7:30 p.m. and is right in the middle of the Campus Center, which is perfectly convenient … until I want something healthy. Crossroads is known for its sandwiches and amazing cheap french fries, but what if I don’t want the deep-fried greasy french fries or fried, frozen and reheated chicken patty or burger?

I understand that it is a small dining location, but shouldn’t it still have a variety of fresh and nutritious options? Is that only for selected dining areas? Crossroads has a basket of fruit and a variety of yogurt choices, but this is a very limited healthy option. How does that help someone who is lactose intolerant or just doesn’t simply like yogurt, like myself? And one piece of fruit is not going to do the trick.

Crossroads has access to a full kitchen, the same kitchen used during the afternoon for the dining areas of Palates, Cutting Board and Laker Express, which, combined, do a marvelous job of providing a variety of healthy options.  However, the food/activity court dining areas close at either 2 p.m. or 2:30 p.m. This leaves Crossroads as the only open dining service, with the exception of F.A.N.S. But F.A.N.S. still closes earlier    than Crossroads.

I understand there are many factors involved like food storage and campus policies unbeknownst to students, but I do not believe it can be that difficult to provide one or two healthier options on the menu. Move down the bakery case and put in a refrigerator, like the many other dining locations in academic buildings, with fresh salads.

Crossroads is one of my favorite dining areas on campus and is the favorite of many other students. It’s easy, it’s convenient, but is it healthy?  I don’t want to have to stop and think, “What am I actually eating?” Someday soon I would like to see my favorite dining area on campus become even better for me and everyone else on campus.