By Kelsi Williamson, Student Reporter
ACU Dining Services recently hired Melissa Horn to assist in health conscious endeavors around campus in an effort to provide students “fresh and healthy” dining choices. Horn, senior nutrition major from Abilene, began working for Dining Services this past spring when she assisted in plans for the newly renovated “World Famous Bean”. She currently is working on several nutrition-focused programs around campus and is offering general nutritional counseling to students, faculty and staff.
“We have lots of plans as we see the need,” Horn said. “We’re trying to offer as much guidance as we can.”
Future plans include a fitness club that will meet 15 minutes, twice every month. Horn said the club, “F-15 in the Bean,” is still in the planning stages but will be an easy way for the ACU community to learn how to be fit while having fun.
“It won’t be real formal,” Horn said. “I want it to be a kind of club where people can build relationships and meet their goals.”
Besides general nutritional information, the club will discuss healthy options for students to eat when they are stressed or staying up late to study. Horn said the first meeting is Oct. 13 at 11:30 a.m. in the Bean.
“My goal in nutrition counseling is not to place a student on a nutrition plan, rather to provide information, facilitate goals set by the individual and give personal encouragement as the individual reaches his or her goals,” Horn said in an e-mail.
Counseling is free to students with a meal plan and is available by appointment only.
Horn has worked to help improve the food variety and selection as well as educational information available in the Bean and other food locations around campus. She said all vegetables served in The Home Zone of the Bean are cooked without butter or salt. Trans fat is no longer used in any menu items. Horn also said all sandwiches and salads available around campus are made fresh daily.
Horn encourages students to use the pamphlets available on the nutrition table at the Bean’s entrance and the calorie counter signs placed by menu items as flags for healthy choices.
“Maybe you didn’t think about what you were going to eat for lunch, but with this information, it’s easier to make
decisions,” Horn said.
The Dining Services’ Web site, www.acu.campusdish. com, also is a way for students to guide their nutritional needs for every day and every meal of the week, Horn said. The Web site includes locations, menus and prices for all of the campus’ dining venues; however, some of the
links still are unavailable.
Many health conscious students are excited about the recent changes and future plans for nutrition on campus.
“I think it’s good they’re making strides to make things better,” said Sarah Jay, junior nutrition major from Georgetown. Jay, a member of the Student Dietician Association, believes good nutrition is essential for disease prevention. She said using the nutritional information provided by the Dining Services is a good way to help fight off health problems ranging from kidney disease to heart disease.
“One of the major problems we have is lack of knowledge. People don’t even know what they’re eating,” Jay said.
Corbin Pierce, freshman business marketing major from Coppell, said that because he exercises regularly and eats healthy, his overall outlook on life has improved. He said the options provided by the Bean are better than those offered in previous years when he attended summer sports camps at ACU. Although satisfied with the Bean, he said the variety still could improve.
“If you’re trying to be really health conscious, there are still not an overwhelming amount of options available,” Pierce said.
He said he thought the nutritional information provided by Horn and her future program plans would be helpful to students trying to stay healthy.
“If you want to be more informed, you can be,” Pierce said.
In order to stay informed, Horn suggests students let Dining Services know what areas it can improve.
“We want feedback so much,” Horn said. “We’re just going to get better and better.”