Following numerous discussions and controversies among students about the forced expenses of student meal plans, the University of Nevada, Reno should address, construct and implement other methods of shopping with more varieties of foods in a new, closer supermarket that will offer more student jobs and stability.
With around 20,000 students, the university has made multiple rigorous and game-changing lifestyle choices for college students by constructing more housing, offering luxury living and transportation methods around the campus. With an increase in student communication, collectiveness and community, one situation has yet to be addressed: the lack of stores within a safe and accessible radius of the university.
Students on campus have obviously found the need to get food and other forms of products in order to live a healthy lifestyle. However, the university has yet to bring a successful solution to this need. It appears the university is more pushy on attempting to drown students’ wallets by overpriced student dining plans than suggesting and bringing ways to cook and gather ingredients on our own.
Many students who want to cook or eat a variety of foods have to find ways to go to supermarkets that are outside of walking distance. The closest store to the university that could offer a form of this variety is the Walgreens that hovers over the freeway. However, this Walgreens is a massive threat to student safety and has been known to not be a reliable or suggested way to shop for students.
Of course, comparing Walgreens to that of a supermarket is giving a massive benefit of the doubt, but students had to settle with it. We should begin to push the university to offer better forms of shopping in the forms of a well-stocked supermarket on campus.
Not only would this provide more student jobs in forms of cashiers, managers, and fulfillment workers but it would also give students a better chance to develop and learn how to cook and experiment with different foods at an affordable cost. With the rise of Winco among college students, it is unfortunate that most students either need to pay for transportation to the location in forms of friends, ride-sharing services or waiting for the extremely rare and inopportune weekly student bus trips to the stores.
With the amount of unaffordable student living that continues to grow on campus, it shouldn’t be too much to ask for a supermarket somewhere close to the campus that allows students a better way to get foods that they like and can utilize to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Unfortunately, even if the university did implement plans to create a store close to the university, it wouldn’t actually arrive until most of the students today have already graduated. Nonetheless, this option should be around and accessible to the students of the future and we should definitely be pushing for these types of stores to be made.
Relying on small foods and snacks as a meal promotes very unhealthy lifestyles to students that will be hard to transition from after graduation and into adult livelihood. It appears that the university does seem to notice the lack of student shopping but would rather force students to overpay for dining plans to have a healthy diet.
Not only is this toxic from the university, but it also questions their true intentions to student health.
The university should prioritize students’ well-being first, but it is more obvious than ever that the University prefers to take money from students and not deliver on important safety. Following the recent smoke situation, the university honestly should be receiving more backlash for the amount of inconsiderate actions they have been making.
Creating more and more expensive experiences for students is not something to be proud of. Most students have expressed dislike over the university’s actions and also how they see and interact with students.
It should be obvious that we need an accessible store near the university where students can use WolfCards and FoodBucks. It shouldn’t be a foreign topic, but the university would rather students risk their lives by finding other forms of transportation to areas far away from campus or to go to the very unsafe Walgreens in downtown Reno.
It would be interesting to see the university address this topic, but it would be even more impressive if they took action. It can be done if we push for changes. Now, it is more important than ever to prioritize student well-being and health and since the university refuses to or continuously takes the wrong steps: it is up to us to hold them accountable.
Opinions expressed in The Nevada Sagebrush are solely those of the author and do not necessarily express the views of The Sagebrush or its staff. Gabriel Kanae is a student at the University of Nevada studying journalism. They can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @NevadaSagebrush.