By NATHANIEL MOXLEY
While there are many complaints about food here on campus, there seems to be little to no effort being made to remedy the issue. UMW should accommodate a more open and representative approach to allowing the members of a very small community to experience what makes Fredericksburg the gem that it is. That of course, all boils down to the food by introducing local cuisine into campus dining.
Out of thirty students, I asked at Mary Washington, not one could say that the food on campus was anything above sub-par without referencing chain restaurants such as Qdoba or Jamba Juice. The saving grace of the campus was unanimously chosen to be Blackstone Coffee – and with good reason. Having originated here in Fredericksburg, the locally owned and operated coffee shop serves as a shining example of what could be on UMW’s campus to help students indulge in local life. Local junior Sylvan Brier expressed her dismay with the lack of options here.
“There should be a way where students who are both new and returning are able to experience all the great food that is available downtown without having to spend their entire lunch break walking in the heat or cold just to spend money that they don’t have on food that actually tastes good,” said Brier.
Sophomore Max Shultz said that it was time for the newly built UC to be “gutted and changed.”
“You can choose between a 1000 calorie bowl of Mexican food from Qdoba or you can have some 4-hour stale sandwiches from Jamba. Otherwise, you can head upstairs to stand in the same line every single day to get the same food that never tastes any better,” said Shultz.
“Just take a section out and allow different restaurants from downtown to come to that gutted section of the UC and present their dishes to the students in exchange for their swipes. Not only will the students be able to try the great food that Fredericksburg is well known for, but the restaurants themselves will benefit too. Getting their name out there to the students who have never heard of them before opens a two-way street,” said Schultz.
Student Jacob Dahl said that he is frustrated with the lack of healthy options and that he wished the university would offer a reliable spot for students to receive healthy meals.
“The only option we have is the market down by Blackstone but that place closes on the weekends. How can I eat healthy on my break days without having to travel somewhere on my few days off?” said Dahl.
Surprisingly enough, other students walking by heard the ongoing interview and decided to weigh in their opinion. When Dahl suggested the idea of having a food festival, a student walking by almost exploded in excitement at the idea. “All the best places from downtown could come and sample off a couple of their best dishes.”
Students should either be allowed to spend their flex or EagleOne at a majority of the hot spots downtown, or those hotspots should have a limited pop-up run on campus every week. It isn’t hard to set something up that is mutually beneficial to all parties, especially when it involves a tight-knit community such as Fredericksburg and the students of UMW.