Approximately 2,500 students of various nationalities live in dormitories at Keimyung University and eat meals in the one cafeteria that serves them. The cafeteria that serves the dormitories is located in a corner of campus far from a gate, so it’s easy to eat at the cafeteria and a little difficult to eat off campus. Despite the convenience, many students complain about the dormitory food service system and the food.
First, the dormitory meal system is inconvenient and unfair. Keimyung University has only one housing system, which includes a full meal plan provided in the dormitory cafeteria, so students must pay for food and lodging together. This means that if you don’t eat the meals, you pay for food you never eat. Alternatively, foreign students can opt out of the meal plan, but Korean students can’t. If a Korean student wants to live in a dormitory, he must pay for meals. If foreign students can choose, why can’t Korean students? There needs to be improvement in the dormitory cafeteria system. Dongmyung University, which had a similar situation, got a very positive response when the foodservice system changed to include meal plan choices. The meal plan system changed because students have a variety of needs. Their system has three choices: A (weekday and weekend meals), B (weekday meals) and C (meal tickets). Hopefully, KMU will talk with the dormitory students and find a solution that works for everyone, just like Dongmyung University did.
Second, the dormitory meals don’t taste good and the Western style meals never change. The cafeteria’s nutritionist makes a menu considering the nutrition; however, the food tastes bad. For example, the soup is watery and bland and the fish is too hard to eat. Because of the taste, some students won’t eat the food. Also, at the Western food corner, the food is always the same: bread, milk, jam, cheese, salad, boiled eggs, cereal and soup. Students who don’t want to eat Korean food have to eat the same food for every meal every day. If the school provides a greater variety of Western style food, students will probably eat there more often. For example, offer different kinds of Western style food to students once or twice a week or on set dates.
Food is essential to human life and happiness, but KMU dormitory students only have bad choices: eat bad food in the dormitory cafeteria or spend more money eating delicious food somewhere else. If both the school and students work together, perhaps some positive changes can be made.