Everyone loves Villanova and chose it for their own reasons, but there’s an elephant in the room: ‘Nova dining could be better. From the classroom to the popular social media app YikYak and, of course, the toilet seat, the buzz around campus is all about the disappointment in the quality of meals on campus.
Don’t get me wrong, no one came to college expecting the food to be astounding. Even other prestigious universities around the country have poor options. You do, however, see those rankings online: “Best College Dining Halls” or “Which Colleges Have the Best Food?” To no surprise ‘Nova appears on none of these lists, but our neighbor, Bryn Mawr College, does. These are schools that feature quality burgers, wood-fired pizza, delicious pasta and more well-known options such as Chick-Fil-A and Panda Express.
But what is wrong with our food? It’s not that it isn’t gourmet or the best meals we ever had. It’s the fact that it can be so distasteful that many students are left starving because they would rather not eat than have a visit with the white throne every hour. YikYak, an app designed for posting anonymous messages only visible within a certain area, is popular among Villanovans who keep feeling queasy.
“How is it possible that we pay two to three thousand dollars for meal plans and they don’t even serve us real food?” one user wrote.
“At least I know I won’t gain the freshman 15… you’d have to actually be able to eat the food for that,” another student posted. Some have gone to extreme lengths stating that they’ll inform tour groups of the poor quality of food here at campus and possibly stage a boycott of dining halls. Whether joking or not, these concerns are rampant around campus and most definitely need to be addressed. After my first month on campus, I’ve narrowed it down to two of the five main options: Café Nova (Cova) and Belle Air Terrace. While choosing Belle Air may be an unpopular opinion, there is truly only one reason for it, that being that you never know when Cova is open. Cova is the place for a good meal. Its chicken parm sandwich is simple yet delicious, its cheesesteaks are actually enjoyable and the burrito bowls, despite what happens after, are a decent substitute for Chipotle.
Due to lack of employment, Cova closes at 5 p.m., which is way too early for dinner goers. This leaves many to wonder if it is possible to move employees to Cova to keep it open later. Maybe increasing pay for workers to promote employment is also a possibility. We get it, you don’t want us to use MPEs so we can use the all-you-care-to-eat dining halls at Pit and Spit, but it truly is one of the few places to find an enjoyable meal. Besides Cova, many students really look forward to Food Truck Fridays. I will admit I was thoroughly disappointed when there were no food trucks in sight last week.
“Are there food trucks tonight? I need a free edible meal,” a YikYak user wrote. “Late nights at Spit for Food Truck Fridays was not a fair trade,” was also posted. These two events, Food Truck Fridays and Spit Late Night, are some of the only times students can find edible meals on campus. Late nights, admittedly, are unhealthy and not the most amazing food ever, but Food Truck Fridays are a campus staple.
Going to the Oreo on Friday night and seeing the trucks line the circle is not only great for our taste buds but also for the community atmosphere it creates. The long lines truly indicate its popularity and how local Philly food is spectacular. I hope we can bring those back sooner rather than later. I can only write so much about the pitiful display that is Villanova dining. However, I want to leave a few questions to ask. Can we fix the Minute-Maid Lemonade dispensers? Why not let us use MPEs at the Commons Holy Grounds? When is the Conn convenience store actually open? Can we open multiple Covas or at least have it open for dinner? Oh, and lastly, what exactly is in those dining hall eggs?
Perhaps if the food continues to be the way it is, the “Stall Street Journal” will have to publish more than just their monthly issue.