My freshman year at the college, I looked forward to every Friday night. I would meet my SPAN mentor at Mooyah, and we would tell each other about everything that had happened over the course of the week — stressful schoolwork, problematic friends, family drama, exciting events, etc. My mentor is picky, so a burger and fries was really the only option. Although my mentor, and now close friend, is abroad in Japan for a year (still picky, and enjoying garlic fries at bars over fresh sushi), I still miss the option of Mooyah Fridays, and I know that I am not alone.
For the thousands of students who are looking for good food that can be paid for with the convenience of flex, these options lack both variety and space.
At the College of William and Mary, we only have so many restaurant options when spending our Dining Dollars: The Crust, Dominoes, Cosi and Pita Pit. As good as the sandwiches are, I hesitate to call Swemromas a restaurant, especially since it closes so early on weekends. For the thousands of students who are looking for good food that can be paid for with the convenience of flex, these options lack both variety and space.
While many restaurants advertise that they take Express, we know that has limited appeal. I don’t exactly want to spend the laundry money that I went out of my way to load onto my student I.D. on pasta. Without a friendly family member giving you a few extra Express dollars for the specific purpose of buying food, using that money feels more like an inconvenience most of the time. When I express my concern about my limited food options at William and Mary, my high school friends laugh because they are both lame and went to UVA, but also because they do not have the same problem.
I am disappointed that my weekly splurge of burgers and fries could not be sustained by the Williamsburg and William and Mary communities, like the Subway before it.
They know that they have the option to meal swipe for Subway before they go to work. If a student is not in the mood for that portable option, the dining halls have food courts, and the residence halls have small restaurants. Many other schools have a similar plethora of options available to their students, for example: Penn State, Duke University, and Virginia Tech. I realize that the schools offering so many options are larger universities, and they can sustain the options with the amount of money students, faculty and staff spend on food. At William and Mary, we don’t have that luxury, but we chose a small-school sense of community over the huge-school meal variety. I try to remember that next time I drag myself toward the picked-through, crowded dining halls. I am disappointed that my weekly splurge of burgers and fries could not be sustained by the Williamsburg and William and Mary communities, like the Subway before it. I will miss the overflowing fry cups, soft serve shakes, and juicy burgers.
The next time I settle for a pizza or pita to deter a craving, I will miss it even more. I hope that a new option moves in soon, but until then, I know I am lucky to have the few options available to keep food money from coming straight out of my wallet.
Email Kiana Espinoza at firstname.lastname@example.org.