If our past findings have taught us anything, it’s that universities with smaller enrollment figures are able to offer a more superior dining experience to students. With roughly 1,766 undergraduates on their pastoral campus in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, Saint Vincent College certainly has the kind of low numbers we’re talking about. Unfortunately, the one thing students aren’t talking about is the food. Complaints aplenty will come your way if you ask them about it, ranging from repetitive meal plans to a lack of facilities. Prospective Bear-cats who place a great emphasis on dining should read on to see what this liberal arts college that’s rooted in Roman Catholicism has to offer in the culinary realm, or rather what it doesn’t. Dun dun dun!
Saint Vincent College only has one major dining hall, the Community Center, and we think that’s justified in some ways given the modest enrollment rate. Nonetheless, there are still enough students on campus to put strain on the facility when everyone wants to eat at the same time. The CC is setup with five different conceptual food stations that endeavor to bring variety to hungry scholars. The Park-side Diner is modeled after your favorite home cooked meals.
Sequoia Grill is for all things, well, grilled. East Deli is the spot for subs. Pepperazzi is all about pizza. Bravisimo! is more or less just a lackluster bar of toppings where one can come up with an “exciting” dish. So what do all of these food stations have in common? None of them are particularly healthy, the offerings don’t change enough and some students warn that they’re prone to give you an upset stomach. The meal plans are also expensive, which only adds insult to the schools price tag of over $32,000 a year. There is some good news, though.
If you’re interested in Saint Vincent College, check out our article on Campus Safety at Saint Vincent College.
The Community Center does serve at Saint Vincent College have is The Shack, the aptly named quick stop for food that continues the trend of serving up artery clogging staples like cheeseburgers, candy bars, soda and perhaps a fruit salad if you’re feeling particularly inspired. Saint Vincent College does claim they adhere to certain food standards like fresh daily vegetables, USDA choice or above and foods prepared from scratch. Students seem to feel like these attributes just aren’t reflected in what they’re eating every day.
There are several programs worth noting at the college. Ecosteps® is concerned with the ecological footprint of dining services, and it focuses on things like recycling and using biodegradable materials. FarmSource® has the goal of sourcing local ingredients whenever possible. The most promising is certainly Hemisflavors, which is the product of chefs and management teams coming together to do themed meal nights. Still, these special nights don’t seem to be enough to satisfy the student who’s after an eclectic meal.
You definitely won’t find a unique mixture of food at Saint Vincent College. At the end of the day, there really are only two places to grab a meal, and it’s an overpriced one at that. The offerings are typically viewed as repetitive and unhealthy a big no-no for that essential brain power! The college does have plenty to offer in the way of academics, a small yet scenic campus and a host of sports teams. Food just doesn’t make the cut. How much will that sway your opinion? At least you know what your food loving self is getting into. If you’re still interested in being a Bear-cat, here are some other things you should know about Saint Vincent College, written by a recent alum.
Ryan James is a ’13 alumnus of Ohio University’s College of Arts & Sciences with a bachelor’s degree in writing and media. He currently works as a copywriter for a Fortune 500 e-commerce corporation based in Columbus, OH.