O’Donovan Hall is a favorite target of criticism for almost all students. Many lament its limited options and general lack of nutritious options, but this criticism is especially relevant for those with specific allergies and dietary restrictions.
Although it is obviously difficult to prepare large quantities of food — allergy-free or not — those who have these dietary needs should not simply fall by the wayside.
This is especially apparent for those who are gluten-free, a condition that requires an especially concerted effort to remain uncontaminated. While Leo’s provides a small gluten-free section located on the bottom floor on the far right side, this section is, in many ways, inadequate for anyone who relies on Leo’s for most meals.
When the section’s refrigerator is stocked — which is often not the case — the gluten-free food available in this section is simply not nutritionally adequate. It mostly hosts muffins, waffles, doughnuts and bread, all of which have little nutritional value and high sugar and fat contents.
Although other gluten-free foods in the rest of Leo’s, such as the grilled chicken station or salad bar, offer alternatives, these options boast little variety and are not enforced as completely gluten-free — unlike options that are deemed to be vegetarian.
Furthermore, gluten-free options are restricted to mealtimes, leaving gluten-free students unable to stop by mid-morning or mid-afternoon to eat, — unlike all other students, who have options at all hours.
Given the cost and mandate of Leo’s dining plans, each enrollee is right to expect that well-stocked, nutritious options will be available.