Frustrating dining experience

Students are disappointed with new changes to campus food

Nicole McIsaac, Copy Editor

Quinnipiac University students are frustrated with their on-campus dining experience due to the fall 2020 semester containing many new COVID-19 related restrictions.

“It has been a nightmare,” said Jason Mendez, a sophomore computer science major. “The platform, ‘Boost Mobile’, cannot handle large orders and the fact that most dining options are only accessed through this mobile application only further limits dining options.”

Wait times for food have been an ongoing issue among students since the beginning of the semester. Although, Boost allows students to pre-order their meals and beverages, time-slots fill up quickly.

“The Starbucks time slots are non-existent so it basically gives me a better reason to make coffee at home or go to Dunkin Donuts off campus,” said Haley Gyorda, a sophomore advertising major. “Starbucks is definitely the worst of them all because if you order something at 12 p.m., you might not get it until 4 p.m..”

Gyorda lives on the York Hill campus this year and said that her dining experience has been a lot different compared to her encounters on the main campus.

“The dining hall on York Hill closes around 7 p.m. (on Sunday),” Gyorda said. “This clearly isn’t ideal for students who are working late or have night classes. They don’t have the chance to get food if they need to buy it from there.

Will Arcovitch, a first-year nursing major, said although his dining experience hasn’t been awful, he is still encountering complications using the new system.

“Boost has been very bipolar,” Arcovitch said. “Some days I’ll wait two minutes and my order will be ready, others days it could take up to an hour.”

Chuck Couture, resident district manager for Quinnipiac University dining, said that QU Dining understands the frustration with pick-up times. He said Boost is a learning process for both Quinnipiac guests and staff. On-going training is currently being conducted for staff to try to get more meals and beverages produced within an hour period.

“If the Boost time frame doesn’t work, we are asking our guests to check out the dining stations in York Hill and Café Q that offer meals daily,” Couture said. “In addition, you can choose from a variety of grab-and-go meals, sandwiches, salads and parfaits in both locations.”

Apart from problems with wait times, students with food allergies have been struggling to find meals on campus that accommodate their specific health needs. Boost has an option to log food allergies while ordering, but some students are voicing their concerns about how reliable that is.

“While I do not have food allergies, my roommate with a peanut allergy, is extremely hesitant to order using Boost Mobile,” Mendez said. “Despite the mobile application having the option to notify each station of any allergy, his biggest concern is if the cooks actually take into account these notifications.”

Hannah Eaton, a sophomore occupational therapy major, has had difficulty finding food on campus with her lactose allergy and vegetarian diet.

“I get a really upset stomach whenever I eat dairy,” Eaton said. “Whenever I say that I have a dairy allergy on the Boost app, they always still put regular cheese in my food and you can definitely tell the difference between regular cheese and soy cheese.”

Eaton said that she has been so frustrated with her dining experience that she resorts to purchasing food off campus and making her own food to avoid her allergy difficulties.

“Sometimes I’ll even make my own food and will put it on salads that are available from the dining hall,” Eaton said. “I’ll open the pre-packaged salads to gross and mushy vegetables. I don’t understand how it’s already gross if it’s prepackaged.”

Julia Villani, a sophomore criminal justice major, said she also feels that the new dining experience is problematic with food allergies due to personal experience with celiac disease.

“I ordered a gluten-free wrap and the entire sandwich was falling apart and unable to be eaten,” Villani said. “When I can, I try and go off campus to get food but it would be much easier if there were more gluten free friendly options here at QU for me and others as well.”

Villani said she feels there are not many options offered to her at Quinnipiac and there should be more improvements to the dining experience that is offered to students.

“I feel there should be more options for all the students as there aren’t many varying options on a day-to-day basis,” Villani said. “I hope that the quality of the food improves, possibly by adding more fruit, vegetables and more gluten free options on the Boost app.”

Students are encou raged to contact [email protected] for any questions or concerns regarding Boost Mobile.