Caf food controversy


Yu Hosoi

Students share their worries about the Caf’s menu and its quality.

Sophia Giallanza, Staff Reporter

Unlike larger universities in the county, John Carroll calls one centralized eatery home: Schott Dining Hall. This shared dining experience often brings students together and unites them in their opinion on the Caf Food. 

On Sept. 27, 2021, the social media account @barstooljcu posted photos of Caf food sent in anonymously by students. These pictures were met with an uproar of responses, most of which were overwhelmingly negative. Students reported undercooked meat, bugs in food and mold present in dining hall meals. 

After hearing the comments of John Carroll students, many students agree that the campus dining experience has the potential to improve.  

“As a college athlete, I feel that the dining hall has lots of protein and heavy carb options [burgers, chicken, fries, pizza] that fill me up after practice,” said Luis Wentz’ 25. “However, there is definitely a major problem with the amount of healthy, vegetarian options on campus.” 

“Besides the salad bar, there’s typically no fresh veggies,” said Wentz. “It’s difficult to have a healthy diet when most of the food is fried and fatty.”  

In response to the Barstool post, more students were eager to share their experience with less than satisfactory meals. 

“My grilled cheese was not even cooked and the bread was soggy,” said Sydney Burger ’25. “I’m paying six thousand dollars a year for a food plan and it’s disappointing that they don’t care enough to finish making my food.”  

JCU student Clare Atheneos shared her thoughts on how she hopes dining will expand in the future. She feels that with more available options, student output will improve. 

“If John Carroll would partner with restaurants and food places nearby like Pizzazz, Boaz, Dave’s Cosmic Subs or Ben and Jerry’s, then we can use our meal swipes and dining dollars at more locations,” said Clare Atheneos ’25. “I think that would be a great idea to get more variety for students.”   

Atheneos also shared how she tried to place a suggestion to Parkhurst dining to put out fresh strawberries but was denied based on the “high prices.” 

“Hearing them refuse something as simple as strawberries was definitely discouraging,” said Atheneos. “It gives the image that they don’t care about what students want and are only concerned about money (even though we pay a hefty amount for their meal plan).” 

Many students explained that the dining hall itself along with its service is not altogether terrible. However, the fact that many underclassmen students eat most of their meals there poses an issue if food options are lacking.

“We are aware of some inconsistencies and are working hard to correct them,” Jason Burst, the senior general manager of JCU’s dining services, told The Carroll News. “There has been an increased focus on the culinary team and have hired a new Executive Chef that starts next week. Over the next couple of weeks we will be reviewing the comments and suggestions. When you return from winter break you will see new menu items, pop-ups and engagement events.”

In response to the photos circulated online, Burst said that some of the legitimacy of some of the pictures were questionable but he encouraged students to alert the dining services about any issues immediately.