Required meal plans at Loyola limit commuters with dietary restrictions


Piper Demman

A student receives food in the Orleans Room dining hall on Sept. 14. Students with dietary restrictions have complained about the lack of accommodations for those dietary restrictions in the Orleans Room.

Natalie Thomas, Staff Writer

Although meal plans for off-campus students only include 250 Wolfbucks, Loyola’s meal plan requirement has recently been criticized by off-campus students who have dietary restrictions since they say a lack of options prevents them from using the plan.

The general manager of Loyola dining, Charles Casrill, said that Sodexo has been a leader in creating new menu options for vegan, vegetarian, and those with allergies. Casrill added that Loyola and Tulane have recently committed to the Humane Society Plant to achieve a 42% plant-based menu by 2025.

But environmental science junior Ellie Redemann said that the current options aren’t sufficient. As a commuter and vegetarian, she said that the vegetarian options on campus are limited, and that she has to go off-campus in order to meet her preferences. Regardless, Reedman is still required to pay for a campus meal plan.

“I definitely did not think that it was worth it for me,” she said. “The vegetarian options were never really great.”

Director of Residential Life Chris Rice defended the meal plan requirement. Rice said that student satisfaction and engagement are driving factors behind the requirement.

Public relations senior Sara Candia said that she does not support the required meal plan because she finds it unfair that students have to spend more money ordering food. She argued that on-campus options are not substantial.

“I like my veggies and well cooked food. On campus, it doesn’t feel like it’s much of an option,” she said.

Rice said that students who have dietary restrictions can address their issues through the Office of Accessible Education or by contacting Kelsey Rosenbaum, Sodexo’s regional campus dietitian, if the dietary restriction is not medically necessary.

Marketing sophomore Riley Keelty, who lives on campus, said that the process to address these concerns is frustrating.

“I’m spending over a thousand (dollars) this semester for these resources that I’m not using,” she said.