June 1, 2020

Dining hall quality is spiraling downward

You know what grinds my gears? The food on campus.

I feel like I’m the only vegetarian on campus. It takes a full 15 minutes for me to get my food because no one ever asks for veggie burgers. Frozen veggie burgers take additional time to thaw before being cooked.

I feel like no one ever asks for them because no one ever really knows they’re available. I didn’t know myself until inquiring about anything vegetarian at the grill.

They used to place vegetarian menus outside Eickhoff entrances, but it seems like food this year has just gone down into the negatives in quality points.

Of course people will say, “What’s the problem? You still have salads, pizza and pasta every night.” My answer to that is, “Have you ever heard the term ‘malnutrition’?” We need to be healthy college students that can go to class without our stomachs growling loudly enough to interrupt the professor’s lecture.

When we are healthy we are more likely to pay attention, avidly take notes and learn, which is what we actually came here to do. So why does food so high in demand take so long to be prepared? They can’t possibly be adding seasoning, because any college student on a meal plan will tell you how bad the food tastes.

What about the times you go into a dining hall and find there’s almost no food left? You are forced to leave the hall, dissatisfied, on an empty stomach. Aren’t they supposed to be accommodating?

The dining halls are set in place as a means for students to have meals. Meals are supposed to fulfill the needs and wants of an average human stomach. We cannot possibly have a meal from a burnt chicken sandwich and leftover chocolate pudding. Drink machines decide they don’t want to dispense drinks. Everything is constantly breaking down.

Workers try to kick you out half an hour before the hall closes because they don’t want to deal with anyone else. They constantly complain about their jobs and lives. They flirt with students or have attitudes for no reason. They mess around when they should be working.

Last year, I almost got hit in the face by a flying object. Looking down as it landed on the floor, I discovered it was a latex glove filled with water. Looking back up, I saw an Eickhoff worker laugh as he collected his glove and apologized. Is this the kind of environment we should put up with when all we are trying to do is eat?

And what about the tray system? Workers slam tray stands into each other, causing plates and cups to crash to the floor. It’s one step above last year when they ran into people and yet just as dangerous. Is it a coincidence that the Health Services office is conveniently located on the same floor?

Eickhoff, as a buffet-style dining hall, has a policy that students cannot take food out of the building. I guess they really mean that you won’t want to, because when you drop off your used trays and dishes the smell makes you want to hurl everything you have left. Clearly, the trash can they’ve placed there was intentional. Although it perpetually smells like vomit, the strong students of the College have managed to maintain their composure, either by holding their breath or ignoring the problem.

I suppose you can’t really ask for much when you’re paying the school more than $20,000 a year to attend. I mean, it’s all about the education, so what does food really matter?

I should be able to ignore these hunger pangs. Maybe I’ll just convert to eating meat.

And that’s what grinds my gears this week.

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