By Jubenal Blas
By Jubenal Blas
Riverside Community College requires students to take a health course in order to graduate, but they cannot apply what they learn at RCC due to the limited food selection, poor parking and chaotic schedules.
Eating unhealthy foods is a major problem.
“Heart and cardiovascular diseases related to poor eating habits is a leading cause of death,” said Gayle McSwain, professor of Nurtition on the Riverside Campus. “Unauthorized diets can also lead to health problems or death.”
According to McSwain there is no reason for students not to educate themselves on good nutrition.
“Health is important; take my nutrition class or others that are offered at RCC and learn how to eat right,” she said.
McSwain suggested that the choices offered by the Tiger’s Den reflect the typical eating habits of Americans. Although McSwain said the cafeteria offers healthier choices than the Tiger’s Den, “it doesn’t mean they can’t improve. And yes, the school tries to offer good food.”
The four most ordered items at both the Tiger’s Den and the Cafeteria includes hamburgers, hot dogs, french fries and pizza. All of these items are high in saturated fat and hot dogs and french fries are high in sodium.
With parking being the way it is at RCC, nutritional choices are limited to the selections offered at the Tiger’s Den and the Cafeteria. Most students would prefer not to lose their parking spaces going on food runs, so they just cave in and purchase whatever is available on campus.
“Parking may or may not be a problem. The fact is that the menu at the Tiger Den doesn’t have a healthier selection that can replace french fries,” RCC student Josh Frick said.
Chaotic schedules are also a problem for many students. Full time students may only have a couple of minutes in between classes for a meal. Other students squeeze classes into their busy work schedules, which leaves little time for healthy eating.
Others must consider their budget. In reference to the Tiger’s Den student Luke Williams said, “The food is inexpensive and the menu is not so bad.”
Food supplied by the college is priced well, veering into a good deal. You can get a slice of pizza, a small cup of French fries, and a bottle of water or Pepsi for $3.50. A sandwich and a bottle of water or fountain drink is only $3.75.
“We work hard to serve healthy meals,” Mazzacua said. “The menu in the cafeteria has a great selection, but if the students want more selections it’s important that they give their opinion in a proper manner. But it must be understood that we can’t solve this problem overnight.”
Mazzacua said the cafeteria is open for suggestions; however, the suggestion box serves all student activities not just the cafeteria and is checked weekly by the Student Supreme Court. The suggestion box is located near the ATM machine in the cafeteria.
Mary Black, assistant director of Food Services refused an interview with Viewpoints. Although she stated that they have always passed food inspection.