As a current student at the University of West Florida, I frequently eat at the dining options that are available on campus. My freshman year, I had the displeasure of having a meal plan. Where I was forced to eat 12 meals a week at the Nautilus Market, an all-you-can-eat option. In addition, I had to spend $300 at another vendor on campus. It was required and overpriced. I am proposing that the University of West Florida provide students with better on-campus dining options.
Currently, there are 11 places to grab a bite to eat while on campus. However, four of them are just grab-and-go cafes, so I would not consider these as viable options. These cafes are good in their locations. They are in specific buildings like the business building and the library. These are good options if you are in a hurry.
Where UWF Dining really needs help is in the commons. We have the Nautilus Market, an option which is primarily for freshman and students with meal plans. They give many options,however, they are not good. The food literally made me sick multiple times. Additionally, the only healthy/vegan/vegetarian options are salad. Personally, I think the salad tastes like it has been sprayed with preservatives. Also, in the commons there is a Quiznos; its decent if you like Quiznos. The chick-n-grill should not even be considered a restaurant, because it is flavorless. It is a chipotle want to be, and it fails. The Argo Galley is good. They have beer and wine. Their food is basic bar food but overpriced.
I did some research into other schools dining options and what I found was disappointing. The University of Florida has chain options all around their campus. They have Panda Express, Einstein Bagels, and Moe’s Southwest Grill; FSU has even more! One could argue that theses are a significantly larger schools and are Division 1 in athletics. However, even other D2 schools in Florida like Nova SouthEastern, Barry, Flagler and University of North Florida all have better dining options than UWF. Nova has a Subway, an Au Bon Pain, and an Eisenstein Bagels. UNF has a Jamba Juice, a super popular fast food chicken joint, and a Pita Pit. Even just bringing in a Pita Pit could make a world of differences. The local Pita Pit is always busy at lunch time, and this could draw more students to stay and eat on campus.
The University of West Florida needs to step it up when it comes to their dining options. Food is a necessity and if students are not happy that could be a determinant for which school they choose to go to go.