Opinion: NYU Dining Restrictions Hurt Students’ Wellbeing

Opinion: NYU Dining Restrictions Hurt Students’ Wellbeing

11.24.21
Photo: Jake Capriotti for Washington Square News
11.24.21

by Alyssa Goldberg

This story was originally published on New York University’s Washington Square News.

While NYU has placed a major emphasis on COVID-19 safety policies, the administration has paid significantly less attention to how new regulations impact students’ mental health. Mental health plays a crucial role in maintaining one’s overall health. It is urgent that the university consider how dining restrictions are impacting students’ wellbeing, especially that of students who struggle with eating disorders.

This semester, NYU only has 13 designated eating spaces — four on the Brooklyn campus and the other nine on the Washington Square campus.

A few of these areas, such as the Global Center for Academic and Spiritual Life locations, are 15-minute Quick Stop Spaces. During a typical lunch hour, it can be difficult to find a spot to eat. Oftentimes, the amount of available seats is less than the students and professors looking for one. As winter approaches, the number of alternative eating locations — like Washington Square park — are dwindling. 

For students struggling with or recovering from eating disorders, the limitations of designated dining spaces can bring additional stress and discomfort. CAS senior Olivia Ottaviano said that Quick Stop Spaces have been a big source of anxiety — they tend to be full, with multiple students waiting for a spot. Even if she does get a seat, she feels pressured to finish her food faster to make room for other students. 

Read the rest of the story at Washington Square News.