Back to eating at school

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As the fall semester commences it’s back to school once again, and this time it’s literal. “Back to school” also means “back to eating at school” for many students, so it’s important to know what the options are. Between campus construction and the pandemic many things have changed, including dining options, hours and locations. 

UVU boasts a variety of meal options, from crepes and coffee to burgers and shakes. The variety accommodates different cuisine preferences and dietary restrictions such as vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free. Here is a resource that lists on-campus dining options, including locations, hours, dietary preferences and cuisine type. In addition, this brochure gives detailed menu options for gluten-free and vegan diets.

Kyle Raines, a junior at UVU, states, “I take the bus to school so I don’t have many off-campus dining options. I eat at Subway the most, and I get the veggie sandwich because I’m vegetarian. I can also get a few things from Taco Bell and Guru’s. Guru’s is more expensive but the food is healthier.”

While many of the classic American foods are available through locations such as Chick-Fil-A, Subway and Wendy’s, there are also a variety of other options. These include Korean BBQ at CupBop, Chinese-American food at Panda Express and Mexican-American food at Costa Vida, Taco Bell and the infamous burrito machine in the Gunther Technology building.

According to an article by the National Institute of Health, breakfast plays an important role in learning in terms of behavior, cognitive and school performance. The article states that “Increased frequency of habitual breakfast was consistently positively associated with academic performance.” 

It’s simply much harder to focus early in the morning when one is hungry. UVU offers breakfast through the Roll-Up Café, Mom Fulton’s Café, Guru’s, Taco Bell, Wendy’s and Jamba Juice, among others. Several of these locations offer options to accommodate healthier dietary choices. 

Mom Fulton’s Café serves several Starbucks products in addition to soups, salads, sandwiches and snacks. It is located on the first floor of the Fulton Library. Photo by Tyler Hacking.

Here is a video tour of dining options on campus, created by The Review in 2018. Due to various construction projects around campus, several of the locations mentioned will not be open for the Fall 2021 semester. For example, all of the restaurants located on the first floor of the Sorenson Student Center (SC) will be closed until further notice. Subway is an exception, as it has relocated to the Liberal Arts hallway near Taco Bell and Jamba Juice. 

According to the director of Dining Services, Ibrahim Tashman, dining locations to re-open for the Fall 2021 semester include Panda Express, Chick-Fil-A, Guru’s, Jamba Juice, Roll-Up Café and Trades Café. These will be in addition to the locations currently open, which include Subway, Taco Bell, Wendy’s and Mom Fulton’s Café. 

Tashman also confirmed dining locations to open once construction in SC is completed, mentioning several new and exciting options. These locations will include Papa John’s Pizza, Aubergine & Company, Arby’s, Kolache Krave, Costa Vida, Cupbop, FishBone Sushi and a second Subway. He noted that Chick-Fil-A and Panda Express on the second floor of SC will be “open under construction and there will be tunnels specifically to access the restaurants.”

Expressing his concern for student accessibility and convenience, Tashman said, “We will try to add as many tables and chairs as we can so that people can eat on campus until the SC building is ready.” Until that time comes, Panda Express and Chick-Fil-A will be predominantly take-out locations, rather than dine-in. 

For more information, and to stay up-to-date on dining announcements, one can follow Dining Services on Instagram @uvudining, on Facebook @uvudiningservices and on Twitter @diningatuvu.

In addition to official dining locations, The Zone offers free breakfast throughout the week: waffles on Monday, cereal on Thursday and pancakes on Friday. Not to mention free pizza and several other discounts on Wolverine Wednesday when you wear green! The Zone is part of the Office of Student Action Learning which seeks to engage students in learning, and breakfast is an important part of that mission. 

The UVU Meal Plan is yet another resource available to make eating on campus more affordable. The UVU Meal Plan is a prepaid meal card that garners a 5% discount when used for food or beverage purchases at participating locations on campus. The card can be picked up at Campus Connection with a photo ID and is available to students, faculty and staff members. 

Finally, for those members of the UVU community who struggle with food insecurity–be they students, faculty or staff–the Center for Social Impact runs UVU’s Food Pantry which “offers canned goods and boxed items along with basic hygiene items, and some baby products such as formula, diapers, etc.” They accept online orders which are available for pick-up on Fridays. 

Here is an additional list detailing other food resources throughout neighboring communities in Salt Lake, Wasatch and Utah Counties.