Students at Illinois College are concerned with the dining options on campus shortly after the school received a poor health inspection rating.
One of the three dining options at Illinois College, Cummings Dining Hall, was given a rating of 73 (a low C) during their inspection with the Morgan County Health Department earlier in October. With the inspection scale ranging from a perfect 100 to zero, a 70 is considered failing.
Tim Weis, Illinois College Vice President of Business Affairs, says he was shocked when he heard about the low rating at Cummings Hall, especially since the lowest score the location had received in the last five years is a 90. The other dining options on campus recently received a 99 or higher.
“Trust me, when I received the email about the score I was floored, very upset and embarrassed for Chartwells, the third party company. I was copied in an email along with the food directors' bosses and was one of the first to respond to ensure the safety and quality of the food for our students. My second email was to President Barbara Farley, so this was not an issue that we took lightly,” says Weis.
According to Weis, two critical violations and several minor violations were corrected while the inspector was conducting the inspection. He also says the college went even further to ensure the health safety of students eating on campus.
"We contract our food service out to a third party and over the weekend they had another cleaning crew come in and do a full gut cleaning of the facility. It looks phenomenal. We got a re-inspection from the inspector. All the violations were corrected, so we received a 100 percent on our recent re-inspection."
While the health scare has been corrected, some students still have an issue with the Illinois College dining halls.
Amber Blazek, a junior at Illinois College, discovers she had a gluten allergy over the summer, and opted out of the meal plan. She tells WIDS that there isn’t enough meal options on campus for students with allergies.
"It would be impossible for me to eat there, because gluten is in a lot of things you wouldn’t expect. They really don’t have a lot of options if you are trying to eat healthy. On the weekends, only the dining hall is open and they only have one or two choices to eat. I think it is absolutely ridiculous the amount of money we are paying."
Junior Shelby Thompson is also debating on dropping her meal plan after three years at Illinois College. She feels there are a lot of “inconsistencies” in reference to the food that is offered to students.
“It’s really disappointing because we already pay a lot for our tuition and services on campus. The fact they don’t offer us the options we would like is disappointing. For the food, you have some days it is good and you don’t have digestive issues, and then other days where it looks disgusting and wasn’t prepared very well. I am a vegetarian and whenever I go into The Grill or cafeteria there aren't many options for me,” says Thompson.
With the meal plan charging students $4,300 a year, Thompson plans to opt out if better food options are not introduced to students.
We hope that Illinois College will heed to students’ wishes and make their meal plans more available for special dietary needs.
Lead Image Credit: Peter via Flickr Creative Commons