Is the Freshmen Fifteen Avoidable?

food_16656251_c080b902e3c6f6dd5a22c3f8775d764cb08d1516By: Jennifer Urena

Kristina Rella walks into the La Penta Student Union building and the first smell to hit her nose is the french fries being pulled out of the fryer mixed with the freshly melted cheese on a pepperoni pizza being taken out of the oven just in time for the lunch rush.

Being a student at Iona College comes with its struggles, between classes, homework and extracurricular activities, maintaining healthy eating habits becomes a student’s last priority.

Iona College is home to Vitanza Commons, located on the ground floor of Spellman Hall and LaPenta Marketplace, located on the first floor of the LaPenta Student Union building. These are the two main cafeterias that provide students with fast food options to consume before class.

If students aren’t “feeling” what is being served on campus that day they can venture outside of campus to choose from a handful of fast food options such as McDonalds, Subway and AJ’s Burgers that accept the Iona College meal plan.

According to a survey taken by Iona students, the on and off campus eating establishments have one thing in common, a lack of healthy options on their menu.

While interviewing students some were open to discuss their feelings on the food provided by Iona but some where not as willing to be identified for talking negatively about the school’s options.

One student that did not want to be named stated he is not a huge fan of the food Iona has available. He stated that the food gives him stomach pains.

51 percent of students stated they are not happy with their eating habits according to a questionnaire given to them. Many of the students believed that being on Iona’s campus effected their eating habits due to the lack of variety of food.

“I think that the quality of food at Iona is good,” said Rella. “but there needs to be more variety of what there is to choose from as far as categories go.”

The company Chartwells caters the food provided in the cafeterias at Iona College as well as other campuses across the nation. Chartwells provides students with tools that breakdown what is being served and how to use the foods being served to create a healthy diet on Iona’s campus.

“It can be hard to maintain control in an environment where you can eat all you want,” said Helene Konsker, a dietitian that answers questions about maintaining a healthy diet on the Chartwells website.

The “Dine On Campus” website allows students to create a meal plan that caters to their needs. Possibly helping those that stated they wish they could eat healthier on campus according to the questionnaire given to them.

Students that stated they were not happy with their eating habits based on Iona’s food also have access to this website. When asked if Iona students knew about the website provided by Chartwells, many were not aware what was being provided to them.

According to Konsker food plays a key role in how information is gained. Using the tools provided and a goodnights sleep help to maintain a healthy lifestyle whether you are living on campus or a commuter.

For students struggling with their eating habits on campus should be aware of the “Balance U” page on the “Dine on Campus” website. This page provides a list of foods that can help boost metabolism, boost immune systems, provide energy and boost brain activity. This page also provides a link to foods that can help reduce stress.

Along with the website, Frank Onderdonk the senior director of dining services who was not available for comment, works with students and their problems regarding food. This was seen with the Iona College food truck when complaints came pouring in about the quality of food. This lead to a quick change in items being served on the truck according to the students interviewed with the questionnaire.

For students seeking healthier options from off campus restaurants websites such as provide students with the nutritional information of some of their favorite fast food items.

For many fast food chains according to the Calorie Count law in New York City, restaurant chains with 15 or more locations are required to post nutritional information on menus in a font that is easily read by the consumer. This can allow students that eat off campus to decide on what items can be helpful are harm their eating habits.

On a college campus it is the students’ decision on what they want to eat. In the questionnaire provided earlier although students have the tools to eat healthy nearly 50 percent of students stated they rarely visit healthy locations to eat. It is suggested students to not only research their options but possibly take advantage of what is provided to them.





Why Get Beauty Sleep When You Can Get an A?


By: Jennifer Urena

At 1 a.m. in New Rochelle North Avenue becomes a ghost town with a few stragglers making their way home. At Iona College 1 a.m. is prime time for students trying to get last minute work done.

Between classes, assignments and part-time jobs college students have to learn to juggle the responsibilities at hand while trying to get the recommended amount of sleep 18-24 year olds should get.

College students on average get six hours a sleep of night, which is below the amount needed for a rested night’s sleep. Students at Iona College were surveyed to discuss what keeps them up at night and how college responsibilities may play a role in their lack of sleep.

When asked if the students were happy with their sleeping habits more than 50 percent said no. Majority of the students averaged out 4-6 hours as the amount they get per night.

“There are a lot of nights when it’s 3 hours,” said Kayla Coughlin, a senior at Iona College. “Some days it can go up to 12 hours because I have the time to catch up on the sleep I’ve missed.”

According to Campus Mind Works students shouldn’t rely on the weekend to catch up on their sleep. This worsens sleeping patterns and can lead to one feeling fatigued.

In the survey provided lack of sleep amongst students affected their daily activities. Especially when these daily activities consisted of school work. According to Christian Bucci a senior at Iona College school responsibilities affect his hours of sleep. Bucci says his homework is the reason he doesn’t receive the sleep he needs.

“Last night I had a paper due at 11: 59 and another one due today,” said Bucci. “So I did one before I went to bed and work up super early and just did more homework.”

According to a USA TODAY article college students are putting in about 17 hours a week for their classes. This time includes their homework, any reading they might have and other assignments. However, the article does not factor in students that may have part-time jobs while in college.

In 2013 about 80 percent of students worked part-time while being a full-time student. Adolescents were recorded to be working an average of 19 hours per week while trying to maintain school responsibilities.

“You give up some parts of your life when you have a job,” said Tamara Scott, a senior at Iona College. “You don’t go out as often because you have to put your priorities first where you either have to do school or work.”

With students balancing school, work and jobs the survey given asked what measures students had taken to stay awake. According to Scott the best way to stay awake is taking advantage of the Iona Library hours. Monday through Thursday Arrigoni Library is open until midnight while Ryan Library is open until 2 a.m. on certain days during finals week.

While junior Sabryna Wedemeyer says she consumes up to five cups a day to keep up with her work during finals.

“Chain smoking keeps me awake,” said Coughlin. “It allows me to keep me up doing my work.”

The need to constantly prioritize school and sleep, lead students to offer suggestions on how Iona could help to improve not only their sleeping habits but their schedules. Coughlin suggested within a major there should be a communication between professors so they could work to create a system that does not overload the student with assignments.

According to Bucci there isn’t enough time given for the amount work assigned. He suggested professors should allow students more time to work in class for projects and written assignments.

“I find it’s helpful when I collaborate with my classmates,” said Bucci. “And allowing days as a buffer, so if anybody has questions they can get together with their classmates and professor.”

Professor Colleen Jacobson of the psychology department agreed there should be environment where students and professors can work together.

“I think it’s a worthwhile thing to try,” said Jacobson. “We as professors should set up meetings to work with students and hopefully the word would spread.”