Give students equal access to Champion’s Choice – The Oracle


USF Dining Services must stop trying to squeeze money from students by forcing non-athletes to pay extra to eat at Champion’s Choice. ORACLE PHOTO / LEDA ALVIM

Champion’s Choice was once where students went to eat after a morning class or a brisk jog on the treadmill at The Rec, but USF Dining Services has now made the dining hall exclusive to athletes, unless a no. -athlete $ 80 per semester for access.

Arguably one of the healthiest dining options available on campus, Champion’s Choice shouldn’t be just for non-athletes. It’s unfair and should be reopened to all students with meal plans.

USF Restaurant Marketing Director Jessica Cicalese told Oracle in a September 22 email that the move was made to better respond to the “predominant population” of athletes who use the venue. to eat, allowing the menu and schedule to meet their needs. However, this movement has “cash grab” written all over it.

Non-athletic students are now required to pay $ 80 on top of their meal plan to gain access to Champion’s Choice.

Meal plans are available for all students on and off campus, ranging from $ 600 to $ 2,120, according to USF’s Fall 2021 Meal Plan List. While already expensive, those prices were also cheated by USF Dining. This fall alone, the Open Access and Any 15 plans increased by $ 70 and the Bull Block 175 increased by $ 35.

After increasing prices, it’s unclear why USF Dining felt the need to charge non-athletes extra to use one of the dining rooms.

If you are not an athlete and have decided to upgrade, you will probably want to get the most out of your money. Champion’s Choice, however, has already changed the hours of operation to meet the needs of athletes.

Students now have 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on weekdays – as opposed to 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. in other mess halls – to get the meals for which they paid $ 80 more.

Asking a student to pay extra to access a dining hall is absurd enough, but the most ridiculous thing is giving them 12.5 total hours per week to use the upgrade.

Providing healthy eating options on campus is imperative, as a 2019 Science Direct study points out. The study, with 1,954 participants at six institutions of higher education, found that food availability, accessibility and prices were important factors in students’ consumption of unhealthy foods.

This study shows the importance of making healthy options accessible on campus, and restricting access to Champion’s Choice does the exact opposite of that.

Cicalese admitted that part of the decision to restrict the dining room to athletes came from giving them more nutritious options than other dining rooms.

“The decision behind the transition is in large part due to the changing culture in college athletics and a greater appreciation of the impact of nutrition on performance and recovery after training and competition.” , she said.

But just because a student isn’t enrolled on an official USF sports team, that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve healthy food options.

USF Dining should stop being greedy and reopen the dining hall to students with meal plans.

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