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U Musings: UM dining halls not as bad as people say

Every time I talk to my roommate about the dining hall, she never has anything nice to say. She thinks the food options are awful and that the facilities don’t earn a star in her book, either. However, I tend to disagree with her assessment. Our dining halls are really, really nice and I think we should take some time to consider the options. It could be a lot worse. Trust me.

My mother’s dining hall was a crime against nature compared to our dining halls. The place only had two categories of food, hot and cold, or, as she described it – hot and salad. The meals didn’t change day-to-day or week-to-week like ours do. Take-out options didn’t exist either. The only way she survived was by stealing cereal out of the dining hall. But that example’s too extreme, right? We’re not living in the 1980s, so we shouldn’t act like it. Let’s imagine our dining hall is like a typical all-you-can-eat buffet.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never been to a nice, clean and acceptable buffet. If they exist, they’re a rarity for the franchise as a whole. The places are grimy, gross and somewhere I’d never want to be in, let alone eat in.

Our dining halls are nice, clean and you can sit in them to get work done while eating whenever you feel hungry.

Let’s compare food. All-you-can-eat buffets have the same food served day in, day out. Our dining halls on the other hand feature different dishes week to week and day to day, promising a variety of choices and flavors so you never get tired of your favorite dish.

Lastly, takeout is an option at a typical buffet, but it costs extra. At the dining hall, take out costs the same as a meal and has nicer foods with more variety. They’re even different from the foods in the dining hall itself! Buffets may let you take out food, but will just give you the same food in the restaurant; some don’t even let you take food home.

The dining hall isn’t perfect, but it’s not bad either. We’re really lucky to have the system that we do, even if it gets a bit monotonous at times. The food could be worse. The facilities could be worse. And we’re really lucky to have all the friendly workers there who put up with our shenanigans. The dining hall is great, and you can’t convince me otherwise.

December 1, 2015

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Virginia Colkley


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