BYU-Hawaii students living in Hales with kitchens in their units said they enjoy the freedom to decide what to eat on their own, while those who live in the Hales but without kitchens said they aren’t satisfied with the Cafeteria food because of its repetitiveness.
Russell Uasilaa, a Tongan senior studying information technology, said making his own food is important to him. He stated, “I feel better and safer when the food is made by myself. I’m not used to cafeteria food.”
Jorden Osborn, a freshman majoring in business management from Utah who lives in a Hale with no unit-kitchen, said he would move to a Hale with a unit-kitchen next semester so he could make healthier food. “Salad is good but it’s the same everyday. It’s getting old,” said Osborn.
Lizzy Leavitt, a senior from Utah studying social work, said she is bored with cafeteria food. “They have the same food every week, such as pizza every Wednesday.”
Camis Pilling, a Canadian freshman majoring in biology, described the food in the cafeteria as “oily.” She opined, “Too much deep fried food, especially chicken. The options for vegetables are too limited.” However, Pilling said the breakfast in cafeteria is abundant and it’s the best out of the three meals in a day. “They have different kinds of eggs, ham, sausage, fruits, yogurt, pancakes and french toast.”
Jade Cheng, a senior studying TESOL education from Hong Kong, said she had seen the improvement of the cafeteria since 2012 when she first came to BYUH, and she appreciates it.
Cheng said, “A few years ago, they had chicken at least three times a week. We were so sick of chicken. The menu now is the same every week, but at least it’s not the same everyday. There’s an omelette station to make eggs now, that’s what they didn’t have before. Also, there’s two waffle machines now when there only used to be one.
“The change wasn’t dramatic. But I’ve been here long enough to see that the cafeteria is getting improved gradually. I still love going to cafeteria,” Cheng continued.
Students with a silver or gold meal plan admitted that the biggest advantage of their plans is the convenience. Milly Wong, a freshman from Hong Kong majoring in computer science, said she enjoys being able to go whenever she wants. “I can come as many times as I want in a day. … Sometimes I just come in to get a dessert.”
Jaykant Tiano, a sophomore from the Philippines, lives in Hale 3 with a unit-kitchen and is only granted 100 blocks as an I-WORK student. He explained he has no time to cook because he is a double major in computer science and information technology.
“I’m taking 18 credits every semester. I have things to do almost every hour. Of course to those who have time to cook and enjoy cooking, having a kitchen is good. But I don’t.
“I only have 100 blocks, so sometimes I get fast lunch from the C-store. If there is a Farmer’s Market, I buy lunch there.”
Hales with no unit-kitchen don’t have a provided refrigerator, to which students said makes it harder to store leftovers.
Nathan Hale, a freshman from Utah majoring in math, explained that without a fridge, he couldn’t eat at night or on weekends even if he wants to. “We have no food. Even if we want to store some food at home, there is no fridge.”
Leata Wilson, a sophomore majoring in biomedical from New Zealand, used to live in a Hale with no kitchen and fridge. She bought a mini-fridge for convenience. “The fridge in the public kitchen was far [from my room.] Every time I wanted to get something, even just one thing, I had to go all the way downstairs.”
She also wanted the mini-fridge for health reasons. “I go out to buy vegetables and fruits and store them in my mini-fridge.”
The price for meal plans is another reason students said they wanted to live in Hales with a unit-kitchen. Samuel Ching, a freshman from Hong Kong majoring in painting, said he had been saving money by cooking on his own. “Obviously, eating in the cafeteria, Seasider, or eating out is more expensive than cooking by yourself.”
Roche Donato, a sophomore from Qatar studying exercise sport science, said, “Meal plans are expensive, even 100 blocks is expensive.” According to the Food Services website, the 100 block plan is $925 dollars and includes $225 Flex dollars.
However, American students said the price of meal plans are acceptable and they understand the living costs in Hawaii is expensive. Osborn purchased a gold meal plan, which costs $1,803 this semester. He commented, “There are four months in this semester, so it’s roughly 400-ish per month. But I have unlimited entry and it’s Hawaii. It’s not that bad.”