Associate Director of Housing and Residential Education Rick Bradley said approximately 800 students will live on campus this summer.
Rising senior and psychology major Samantha Daily from Wingate, N.C., said she experienced the dining shortage firsthand last summer when she lived on campus.
“I ate a lot of Domino’s pizza, hot dogs and fast-food burgers... it was really hard to eat healthy by going to Franklin regularly on the budget that I had,” she said. “I found that it was easier to not eat, or just eat garbage because the options to eat healthy off campus were just too expensive.”
But for many student-athletes, dining options don’t change during the summer.
On April 15, the NCAA approved a rule allowing universities to supply Division I student-athletes with unlimited meals and snacks rather than the three dining-hall meals per day or equivalent stipend they were previously permitted.
This came after former Connecticut basketball star and national champion Shabazz Napier said he went to bed starving some nights because he couldn’t afford food.
This past year, UNC basketball, football and other teams operated under the NCAA stipend guidelines for meals. The stipend continues through the summer.
“During the summer (the men’s basketball team is) able to feed ourselves well enough to maintain our conditioning and our fitness,” said Marcus Paige, point guard for the UNC men’s basketball team. “Unfortunately it’s not that easy for some students.”
Paige said some athletes live in housing units with accessible kitchens, such as in Ram Village Community.
“Joel James is the master chef, he’ll cook enough for a family of four and eat it all himself,” Paige said.
“For a big guy like him, it’s important to be able to eat a lot in order to maintain strength and weight. Other dining options just do not provide enough food for him at a decent rate, so he’s lucky to have the option to cook.”
But students don’t always have the same luck with on-campus dining.
She said Chapel Hill food prices are often too high to eat out for every meal and access to groceries and readily-accessible kitchens are limited to many students living on campus.
Daily said she will be taking summer school classes at UNC, but she chose not to live on campus this year.
“I remembered the detriment to my health that living on campus last summer caused, so living off campus was a no-brainer,” Daily said.
“I could cook my own food, which not only made my diet much healthier, but far less expensive as well.”
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