Dining Guide: Disease pandemic at Pitt: The Freshman 15


By Bethel Habte / Columnist

Why everyone keeps talking about Ebola is beyond me. The Freshman 15 is a far more infectious disease, making its rounds with an uncanny tendency to target the bright-eyed college novices that make up each incoming class. 

But there’s no need to worry, freshmen. Like any well-intentioned institution, Pitt has supplied you with a vast arsenal of defenses to fight the horrendous plague.

For starters, I’m sure you’ve acquainted yourself nicely with your spacious college dorms, within which the school has graciously allowed you to place a microwave of 800 watts or less, a fridge 4.2 cubic feet or smaller, a coffee maker and a blender. You can easily use the appliances to generate a number of healthy meals — I hear you can even steam vegetables in the microwave now.

But Pitt isn’t going to make you do all the work. You have those nice meal plans at a very affordable price to ensure that you never have to worry about doing any of that tedious “cooking.” I’m sure you’ll find that whatever Market Central and The Perch have prepared to be worth the $7.95 spent on breakfast, $9.95 spent on lunch and $12.95 spent on dinner in dining dollar equivalence. Besides, who wouldn’t want to live off of salads and whole-wheat sandwiches? While it’s true they also carry pizzas, pastas, fries and a dessert bar — having soft-serve ice cream is not nearly as tempting as having abs. 

Even if you did want to take the unhealthy route, it’s not like Pitt’s dining system is built for convenience. Take dining dollars, which can be used to buy food at a variety of venues all over campus. Take the William Pitt Union, for instance, which has a Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, burger stand, oh, and a salad bar. The University’s version of grocery stores, the Quickzone and Market-to-Go, are filled to the brim with mozzarella sticks, jalapeño poppers and other fried foods — all things no college student could possibly want to eat. 

For some reason, the school insists on implementing a system of monetary exchange so they actually make you pay for the food you buy and eat. But, because that money is surely coming out of your personal bank account and not your parents’, it can only serve as an incentive to limit your spending on food. 

In a poor attempt to make up for their lack of convenient dining, the school has supposedly situated itself in the “middle” of the city. But you still have to make your way down Forbes or Fifth avenues if you want something to eat — so far away. That’s not to mention that Schenley Plaza’s placement seemingly in the midst of campus solely to make heading to classes more difficult — if you view it instead as implemented exercise, the grievance becomes much more tolerable. 

Indeed, a majority of the school’s system is built around encouraging exercise. After all, if you’re already getting up for an 8 a.m. class, you’ll probably want to get up even earlier to throw in a workout. And when you have classes ending as late as 8:30 p.m., the only thing on your mind is getting a chance to head out to the gym for another go.

Truly, despite the ill-conceived delusions society has about our generation, we are the furthest from lazy. If we can plan for zombie invasions, then we can certainly keep ourselves from gaining a few pounds … or 15 … or 25. 

In all honesty, you’re more likely to catch Ebola than you are the Freshman 15. 

Write Bethel at [email protected]

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