On average, an NYU student pays $60,000 in tuition, per year to attend the university. On top of this, the dining plan costs another $19,000. Since many students are quarantining in their dorms during the pandemic, many expected decent meals for the high price they are paying. From moldy fruit to salad boxes without salad, many NYU students were receiving poor meals that did not contain the recommended nutrition levels. To show their disappointment and mistreatment, many NYU students have been making TikTok videos about their upsetting quarantine meals.
According to NYU’s website, students who have traveled to states where COVID-19 cases are spiking are required to enter quarantine in their dorms before attending in-person classes. The quarantining students must have their temperatures tested and are only allowed to leave their dorms for medical emergencies. To compensate, NYU promised to provide each student with three meals and a snack each day. However, many TikToks have revealed that students are not receiving the food they expected. For example, Benji, a freshman at NYU, explained how the school was not able to provide her with the vegan meal option she requested. After she was brought a steak salad and cheese, she posted a video on TikTok to demonstrate her disappointment. While NYU mentioned that they were going to issue $100 gift cards for students to order their own food, the mistreatment of students was extremely concerning.
NYU promised to change their ways when senior vice president for public affairs and strategic communication, John Beckam claimed that the university was “aware of the students' complaints, which are valid,” and blamed “a never-before-tried operation for us and our food vendor, Chartwells” as the cause of error.
Since the school was not taking action soon enough, some good samaritans have decided to take the situation into their own hands. Through TikTok videos, some students were able to get donations from generous viewers. Freshman Alexandra Mettler told BuzzFeed News, “People on TikTok felt bad and sent me some money on Venmo, which I used to order food for myself and my suite-mate. I am redistributing all the extra funds I receive to other students who are struggling.” Another student, Maxim Estevez-Curtis, founded a community grocery Instagram to support NYU students who are in need of a filling meal. Other students, after seeing the inadequate meals being offered to NYU students, have been purchasing groceries of their own and donating them to various dorms.
Since they are being scrutinized, NYU students are hoping that they will be compensated and given meals they are paying for. Nutrition is so important for success and so many students are relying on their universities to provide them with healthy meals. During this pandemic, universities have been forced to change their preexisting plans and use trial and error to find the best solution.