News & Opinion | August 22, 2020 6:30 am

NYU’s Meals for Quarantined Students Prompt Fyre Festival Comparisons

The quarantine is mandatory, the meals are surreal

Quarantine meal
A quarantine salad at NYU.

Different colleges and universities are handling the pandemic in different ways. Some have embraced virtual learning, while others have established staggered schedules for certain students. Still others have opted for a more modest plan to prevent COVID-19 infections. There isn’t one standardized approach — and there’s also a growing sense that things could change at a moment’s notice.

Some students have faced another dilemma as well — one that testifies to either hasty planning or a dearth of supplies. A new report at Gothamist notes that the meal options quarantined NYU students are getting have gone viral — but not, perhaps, for the reasons the school would like.

NYU students returning to the school from certain states must quarantine for 14 days. From a public health perspective, that makes a lot of sense. NYU is, according to Ben Yakas’s article, providing quarantining students with 3 meals a day. Again, that’s a decision it’s hard to argue with. When it comes to the food in question, though — that’s where things get contentious.

Based on the images circulating on social media, the food options were not terribly appetizing, nor were they arriving on time. Some students took to TikTok or Reddit to complain about delivery times or express bewilderment over certain meal items — including a watermelon and chicken salad and whole lemons.

According to the article, some students have also not been receiving their meals — prompting the formation of mutual aid groups to raise money to keep everyone fed. The meals NYU is serving might not be the best of news, but the idea of a community rising to the occasion and looking out for one another? That, at least, is encouraging.

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