By Emilee Eustis Contributing Writer
The dining hall at UMF has given one student months of frustration after Sodexo has been unable to accomodate the student’s diet. Adlin Chaparin is a first-year student at UMF “on a strict vegan diet” due to a severe lactose intolerance. Because of Chaparin’s strict diet, options in the dining hall are very limited.
“Since I am a first-year student here at UMF and living in residence halls, I am required to have the all access meal plan, which is something I cannot be paying for while also paying for my weekly groceries,” Chaparin said. This poses a big problem because Chaparin has to pay for a meal plan she isn’t using as well as pay for groceries that she needs due to her inability to eat in the dining hall.
Chaparin has tried many times to go to the dining hall and make the best of her situation. “One day I went into lunch between my classes, and the options for me were very limited. I asked for a veggie burger, which I waited twenty minutes to receive, and when I finally got it, it was burnt completely and inedible.” She said many weeks she would go to the dining hall, and end up eating nothing.
Chaparin also said the issues with the dining hall are affecting her health, and could be affecting the health of many other students who are faced with the same problems. “I lost a lot of weight which wasn’t healthy, and I overall didn’t feel good. On days when I was able to find something in the dining hall to eat, I would always feel very sick afterwards, and I’ve heard the same remarks from other UMF students.”
Chaparin is also a collegiate athlete and burns “approximately 2,500 calories a day” but was only taking in about 1,250 calories, making it difficult to perform well in sports or in the classroom.
To make changes in the dining hall, Chaparin said that involvement from students on the campus could be beneficial, since complaints from a few students do not seem to wield results. Chaparin had “heard a lot of students complaining” about the food in the dining hall and knows a few other vegans/vegetarians on campus who are fighting a similar battle.
Moving forward, Chaparin wishes to see the dining hall have a wider variety of choices, and for members of the UMF community to understand that students are paying a lot money for a service, that does not always accommodate to the needs of everyone. Sodexo has not made a comment at this time.