Imagine having to trek a mile in 40-degree weather just to grab a bite to eat in the morning. This is a situation with which any student on the full kosher meal plan with 8 a.m. classes is familiar. The limited breakfast hour from 8:30-9:30 a.m. Hillel’s Bobb’s cafe combined with the lack of kosher food in the university dining halls make morning meals particularly hard to attend. Students shouldn’t have to miss meals because of lack of coordination between Hillel and campus dining.
The kosher cafeteria at Hillel is a great option for the 6,500 Jewish students on this campus, especially those who keep strictly kosher. However, it is also the only option for freshman and sophomore students, who are required by the university to have a full meal plan if they live in the dorms. Most of these students live on North Campus.
The Platinum dining plan is Hillel’s only dining plan that the university recognizes as a substitute for a university dining plan. Hillel’s dining plan is separate from the University’s diners, so students who eat on the Hillel dining plan for all their meals can’t easily stop at the diner for an apple or a salad if they get hungry after class. They don’t have dining points, so they would have to pay for anything at the diners with cash or credit card.
No other dining halls or restaurants on campus serve kosher food. Sure, you can buy a yogurt or a granola bar at the 24-hour shop, but the prices and selection are not appealing compared with those of the diner, especially if students would have to carry cash with them to pay for these foods.
This isn’t to say that the diner should completely restructure. There is no need to go all out and install a kosher kitchen, but a kosher station serving premade meals would go a long way toward satisfying the need for kosher food on North Campus. There is a vegan/vegetarian corner, so why not a kosher one?
While Hillel dining is convenient for students who have adjusted their whole college experience in order to live near the building — foregoing freshman year in the high-rises and battling the community-building policies of living-learning programs. It can be hard to keep kosher on North Campus.