Campus has changed a lot; one cannot help but notice that despite most of us being here, the learning experience on-campus is not the same as before, and apologies to the optimists, but I don’t foresee it going back any time soon. Firstly, however, there is something that the University could go back to more quickly than full in-person teaching: reintroducing healthier options in campus eateries.
The pandemic has hit the restaurant industry hard; many of the famous eateries in Leamington and Coventry have had to close their doors. Although we will have to say goodbye to them, there is one thing which we will not and should not say goodbye to – the healthier food options that were available on campus before the pandemic. Post-lockdown, it seems to me that the menus of all eateries run by the University, the Arts, Library and Rootes Cafés and many others have drastically reduced their menus and very suspiciously have only maintained the unhealthiest options available from their menus.
It is hard to imagine the impact the sugar-loaded campus would have had on students’ mental and physical health
This shows a complete disregard for students’ mental and physical health. It is not to say that the food options before the pandemic were a utopia for a student diet; one could barely walk 100 metres before being showcased with a fridge full of sugar-loaded goodies or the smell of some campus eatery frying potato chips. It is hard to imagine the impact the sugar-loaded campus would have had on students’ mental and physical health. However, there were still healthier food options available – you could go to the library to get some rice and steamed vegetables. Unfortunately, the University has decided to take back all the healthy options while making it compulsory to take fries with almost every dish in the Library and Rootes cafés.
The minimum the University could do is provide healthier options at affordable prices
Interestingly, there has been no slashing down on the sugar-loaded fridges and vending machines found in almost every corner. The University is already an anxious and mentally challenging experience for all of us; some of us must compromise our health because of our minimalistic budgets and poor cooking skills while coping with the workload and stress of getting good grades and seeking employment in a pandemic. The minimum the University could do is provide healthier options at affordable prices or at least not make things worse by making money off sugar cravings of stress-filled student life.
Things do not have to be this way; Warwick could reintroduce healthier options, it should consult nutritionists to design new menus at reasonable and competitive prices. In addition, all the ingredients of University-provided dishes and calorie intake should be mentioned on a dedicated website, and all ensure that all ingredients used are ethically and sustainably sourced.