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The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

OPINION: Despite claims, Dining Hall lacks variety of options

Cheyanne Tull

The dining hall is a cheap option for college kids living on campus, but it’s not worth it getting food from there if there isn’t much to choose from. 

If you live in Shocker Hall or The Suites, you are required to pay for dining hall plans as mostly freshmen live in these buildings. Being a resident at The Flats makes it an option not a requirement, though.

As I embark on my third year at Wichita State and living on campus, the food options have been hit or miss.

There have been times when I wanted to get food, but the only options they had were chicken strips and burgers, and this would be during peak dining hours. 

Usually, the food they have for certain events, like the Day of the Dead, is only served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and most people have classes during that time. 

But, if there is a time when I am craving something like chicken strips, the dining hall suddenly doesn’t have it. 

Now, giving credit where it is due, the dining hall has done better about serving food for those with allergies as they have the “Food Without _____” menu. 

They still don’t have very many gluten-free options. Having gluten-free options is important as there are common allergens and diseases, such as celiac disease and gluten intolerance, that affect many students. 

The only gluten-free option they have when it comes to carbs is gluten-free pasta, which they don’t serve often. Other options that they have that aren’t carb-heavy are salad, seafood, fruit, vegetables and meat. 

While these options can be great, they can be problematic. Some of the foods mentioned above can also clash with dietary restrictions because you can have someone with celiac disease, but that same person can also be vegetarian or have a shellfish allergy on top of that. 

There’s also the potential that gluten-free pasta could be cross-contaminated, as the dining hall isn’t transparent about how their gluten-free pasta is made. 

Not to mention that everything from the pizza ovens to the salad bar is closed after 8 p.m.,  and the only thing you can eat after then is anything at the grill, meaning chicken strips or burgers. 

The university also failed to address a piece of wire being found in the salad bar’s lettuce. 

When it comes to those living on campus who don’t have a car, the dining hall is one of the only dining options available. Odd hours make it inaccessible and frustrating.

The dining hall needs to do better with variety, accessibility and keeping objects out of their food.

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About the Contributors
Jacinda Hall, Podcast Editor
Jacinda Hall is the podcast editor for The Sunflower. Hall is a junior majoring in communications with an emphasis in journalism and minoring in English and literature. Her favorite quote is by Kurt Cobain: “I’d rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not.”
Cheyanne Tull, Reporter/Photographer/Illustrator
Cheyanne Tull is a first year reporter, photographer and illustrator for The Sunflower. Tull is a freshman fine arts major studying Graphic Design and photography. She is from Conway Springs, KS. She hopes to work freelance for outdoor magazines / news sources combining creativity,nature and rock climbing. Tull previously worked on her school's yearbook for two years. Tull uses she/her pronouns.

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