Top of the Hill dining options leave lots to be desired


Tess Killen

WKU students wait in long lines at Que Pasa Tacos food truck at Local Restaurant Row for lunch on Friday, Sept. 17, 2021.

Rose Donnelly, Commentary writer

Not having adequate food options on the top of the Hill could be promoting disordered eating among the student body. 

Students have been patiently waiting two years for the Commons at Helm Library to make its grand opening; with Garrett gone, the main food source on the upper portions of the hill went with it. So, what is open on top of the Hill?


The first floor of Snell Hall has Davinci’s which operates on Monday through Friday from 7:30am-2:30pm. If you’re a STEM student, or have been on campus long enough, you know the line for Davinci’s is always backed up. They are more busy now due to it being the only place on the hill to get coffee, following the closure of Java.

If you have time to wait, Davinci’s is an option to grab a snack; but keep in mind that it’s not an efficient option. 

Food Trucks 

Food trucks have been setting up on the stretch of green in between the Fine Arts Center and the Colonnades. This is supposed to fix the issue of Garrett being torn down as the Commons is still being completed. The food trucks are open Monday-Friday 10am-2pm. 

For the first 2 weeks of the Fall semester it was too hot for students to stand outside for that long of time to get food. On days it’s pouring outside, it’s uncomfortable to stand in the pouring rain and then go sit in class for the next couple of hours while soaking wet. 

Half of the food truck options aren’t actual meals; Kona Ice, the Pie Queen of BG and the Groovy Gus Donut Bus to name a few. These are decent snacks, but spending $10+ to get a snack isn’t affordable for everyone. 

Vending Machines

It’s pretty much common knowledge that college students don’t carry cash on them. If you want to grab something out of a vending machine, make sure you have either cash or card because it seems like they are changing up the pay options daily. 

This is all under the assumption that you’re going to get something from the machine. Some vending machines on campus are poorly stocked. If a student has a food allergy or sensitivity this can make it difficult for them to find something to eat while in between classes. 

… that’s it. Those are the options. 

After considering their lack of options, students do not have the time to walk down the hill to stand in line for 40 minutes just to immediately walk back up the hill.

Garrett made it easy, having multiple options for students to run and grab either something from a restaurant or the little mini mart before their next class. 

Not only has the lack of food options greatly impacted student’s eating habits on top of the Hill, but also the students who have classes at the bottom. 

Trying to get something to eat on campus has become a chore. Students would much rather put off getting food than scramble between classes to find something to eat. 

Prematurely tearing down Garrett has affected the flow and efficiency of DSU. What once was a relatively easy place to get food, has become a nightmare right before our eyes. 

The fatigue of not eating enough causes students to feel depleted by the end of the day; and definitely not interested in attempting their home work. 

Why should we care?

Being around a college student age can put you at a higher risk of food insecurity, and researchers have found a link between food insecurity and eating disorders.

Food insecurity is caused by an abundance of problems, one of them being depression. The highest rate of depression is found in college age adults, according to the CDC.

Rick Grieve, a psychology professor at WKU, described the reality of disordered eating on a college campus in an interview.

“Somewhere around 25% to 30% of college women have disordered eating. Either they’re in, not eating enough or binge eating at some time,” Grieve said. “And I would think that those numbers are probably equivalent if not higher for college men.”

Grieve explains the most common eating disorders found in college age individuals. 

“Now I think you’ll see, whereas college women there’s going to be a pretty good, even split between restricting and binge eating. I think what you’ll see with college men is that most of the disordered eating is going to fall on the binge eating part.” 

Grieve recognizes that the food situation on campus right now isn’t ideal, but he offers students encouragement and advice in making time to eat during the day. 

“It may mean that students have to plan a little bit more, and plan a larger break around lunchtime if we’re going to eat lunch on campus. If not, what we might need to do is plan on bringing lunch with us,” Grieve said. “And we go back to our elementary grade school days, right? Carry our lunchbox around or our brown bag around and find a place to eat lunch as part of our routine… I know that takes extra planning, and that can be difficult at times, but that might be what we have to do to offset not having some of the options that we used to have.”

Grieve believes with a little bit of planning, students can eat enough food during the day. He is hopeful students may overcome this not ideal situation by sticking to a routine that best serves them.

Commentary writer Rose Donnelly can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @RoseDonnelly_