The Award Winning Newspaper Of Pace University

THE PACE CHRONICLE

The Award Winning Newspaper Of Pace University

THE PACE CHRONICLE

The Award Winning Newspaper Of Pace University

THE PACE CHRONICLE

Setters advance to NCAA Quarterfinals
Dylan Brown, Managing Editor • May 16, 2024

Pace is one step closer to repeating. The Setters defeated the Bentley University Falcons today, 17-10 to advance. Initially offense-filled,...

On field celebrations begin at Northwell Stadium following Pace WLAXs NE-10 Championship game victory on May 11, 2024 (pacewlax and paceuathletics/IG)
Pace WLAX Win NE-10 Title, Hosts NCAA East Regional
Dylan Brown, Managing Editor • May 14, 2024

The title defense marches on for the Setters. Pace Women's Lacrosse defeated Adelphi University 16-14 last Saturday to win the Northeast-10 Championship....

Challengers (2024) official poster
Challengers Review
Evan MahannaMay 10, 2024

Challengers, directed by Luca Guadagnino, is a new romantic sports drama that brings a fresh approach to both genres. It’s a tale of a toxic...

Does Pace University Do Enough To Accommodate Students With Dietary Restrictions?

Main+Entrance+of+Kessel+Cafe+%28Pace+Chronicle+file+photo%29
Main Entrance of Kessel Cafe (Pace Chronicle file photo)

Many students at Pace University face challenges dining at Kessel. Besides there being limited options for students with severe dietary restrictions, the options available are pricey.

For example, Kessel recently added various gluten-free products from Udi, ranging from bagels to muffins. However, it was quite a shock for students to discover that one gluten-free Udi cookie would cost $5.99. Moreover, these items are restocked infrequently.

Considering these conditions, many students with dietary restrictions chose to dine or buy groceries off campus. But this raises a bigger question: why are students who cannot eat in Kessel required to get a meal plan like students who do not face the same struggles?

Every Pace University student must get a meal plan of at least $250 per semester. While there is a way for students who have religious and medical dietary restrictions to get an exemption or a reduced meal plan, it is a long and difficult process.

Anna Giacalone previously documented the procedure in a 2019 article. She stated that students must “first meet with the Director of Dining Services before submitting official forms and letters from a licensed physician or a religious leader. These steps must also be completed within the first two weeks of a semester, and an exemption will not be automatically renewed each academic year.”

For students who can eat no items in Kessel, the required $500 an academic year can go to purchasing food off campus that is safe for them to consume. Such is especially true for students who dorm without the immediate support of a guardian to provide for them as many commuters do.

The UDI’S Snickerdoodle Cookie, individually wrapped, one of the few on-campus gluten food choices. (Conagra Food Services)

For example, Kessel recently added various gluten-free products from Udi, ranging from bagels to muffins. However, it was quite a shock for students to discover that one gluten-free Udi cookie would cost $5.99. Moreover, these items are restocked infrequently.

One student who dorms named Hailey, with a wide array of severe allergies and dietary restrictions, was willing to share her experiences with the Chronicle. Hailey is allergic to all nuts, gluten, seafood, oats, and barley.

When asked how she navigates around Kessel not having many options for her to consume, she said, “Last year, when I still had a meal plan, it was nearly impossible for me to eat anything. There was cross-contamination at every station, and when I asked for gluten-free bread all of the workers would tell me they either don’t have anymore, they don’t know if they have that, or I was met with rude comments. They would tell me that it was hard for them not to cross-contaminate and that gluten-free bread was hard to work with at the station. That led to me constantly eating out or eating little snacks throughout the day. Now, I don’t even go to Kessel anymore because there is still nothing for me to eat.”

Hailey later adds that she believes Pace needs more gluten-free options that do not present the risk of cross-contamination.

 

With ten percent of college students on meal plans having at least one dietary restriction, universities must accommodate their needs. Students who pay thousands of dollars in tuition each year deserve an affordable and abundant number of options that fit into their diet. While Pace University has taken steps in the right direction, they still have a long way to go.

 

 

 

View Comments (1)
Donate to THE PACE CHRONICLE

Your donation supports independent, student-run journalism at Pace University. Support the Pace Chronicle to help cover publishing costs.

Donate to THE PACE CHRONICLE

Comments (1)

All THE PACE CHRONICLE Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • A

    Ashley DeSalvoNov 15, 2023 at 9:56 am

    While attending Pace during the 2021 school year, I was put on a restrictive diet for medical purposes. Thankfully, I did not have to worry about things like cross-contamination or possibly being harmed if an item on my no-no list found its way into my meals. The food items I was avoiding were common ingredients, such as gluten, dairy, high fructose corn syrup, garlic, etc. I worked closely with one of the managers (who I don’t think is still at Pace) to identify the types of foods I could eat, how we could modify what was available, and to order items special to my circumstance. 2021 was a strange year for ordering and picking up food from the dining hall but she made it very easy for me to do follow my diet, sometimes taking care of it herself. I am very thankful for the kindness she provided!

    However, I can understand how the average dietarily restricted Pace student would find the process inconvenient. Thankfully I was living in the Townhouses at the time and was able to buy and make my own food with ease when I was tired of gluten free, dairy free, joy free Kessel pizza. This is simply not attainable for students in other residence halls. There are kitchens, sure, but the costs outweigh the benefits. It is a cumbersome process to store food and cook in a communal kitchen; I couldn’t imagine having to do so every day.

    The price disparity, inconvenience, and possible ridicule over dietary restrictions add a lot of stress to a student’s life. I hope Kessel can find ways to help students cope with such circumstances, whether it be lowering prices, creating more trustworthy dietary restrictive areas in the kitchen, or making it easier for students to opt out of the meal plan altogether.

    Reply