Back-to-school has turned out to be a total disaster for some unlucky quarantined undergrads.
Imagine being stuck in your dorm room for two whole weeks, unable to leave for even a Starbucks. Your school promises that in return for your cooperation during the quarantine process, they will provide three free meals a day delivered to your room and tailored to your dietary concerns. Unfortunately, you come to find that this is an empty promise, leaving you hangerly waiting for your food all day and when it comes—it’s wrong. Or underwhelming. Or, even worse, it never comes at all.
Over the last few days, students from NYU and the University of Georgia are sharing these very experiences on TikTok. Late meals, disappointing meals, or invisible meals—all something they did not sign up for when they moved in two weeks early. Sounds like a 2020 version of Catfished.
One unlucky NYU student exposed her vegan breakfast that was delivered to her, a non-vegan. When she opened it up, it was a rather sad sampling of an oat bar, a small pastry, juice, and an orange. This was no better than her previous dinner of a granola bar, cookie, and a single lemon delivered to her for dinner. “We spend so many hours waiting for this little box of snacks,” she told Buzzfeed News, “[it’s] barely been sufficient.”
Another user, also from NYU, posted that she didn’t receive any food at all until 6pm, and when she did, it was a salad, Rice Krispy Treat, and an unripe orange.
So detailed you could almost taste it the tasteless food.
Not the best deal when NYU students are paying up to $74k a year on tuition and housing, wouldn’t you agree?
If you thought that was bad, try going to the University of Georgia where students are *actually* paying for their full semester’s meal plan and are allowed to visit the cafeteria, but things aren’t quite the same. A UGA TikToker revealed that their options have been significantly limited, and quality has gone down the drain.
As you can imagine, once news like this blows up on social media, schools are facing a PR nightmare. A spokesperson for NYU addressed the videos as a ‘let down’ to their students, vowing to make it right through a food allowance scheme. The University of Georgia also says they are ‘listening to their students’ feedback’, and have already (apparently) implemented some changes that include different dining options and extended dining hours as well as additional points to be used in the dining areas.
This wasn’t good enough for two NYU students, however, who decided to take matters into their own hands.
Olivia Sher and Noa Baron took it upon themselves to create a Google Doc for anyone with an NYU email address to request money for additional food or groceries, providing their Venmo or Cash App accounts to receive the funds. You may be laughing, but the spreadsheet currently has about 160 requests from hungry students desperate for some good food under requests called ‘NYU Mutual Aid’ or even ‘NYU Sucks.’
How has it gotten to this point?
Kitty Bailey, the student who had received the sad salad and Rice Krispy Treat in the TikTok above, feels that while this method is impressive, it’s not a way of truly dealing with the issue at hand. “I think anyone who had to get money from strangers should get the same amount from the school so that they can pay [their donors] back,” she said. “The university should have more accommodating food options, as well as food that wouldn’t go bad if it sat out.”
Hopefully Kitty and her fellow frustrated peers get the justice they deserve from their University: an edible meal.