Already a month into the new school year, many changes can be seen around campus. One of these changes is at the Mahoney-Pearson Dining Hall. The venue is not the only thing that has been renovated from top to bottom – the to-go meal system, too, has experienced changes.
The system was implemented to simplify students’ dining options and speed up the process, but this simplicity is the issue. A student is allowed to grab three different foods reflecting three different label colors, with the addition of a drink.
The idea behind the to-go layout is to facilitate a speedier process for students by allowing them to grab meals quickly and eat them on the go. But in fact, it is more of a problem than a solution.
Students are hungry all of the time. Our stomachs continually growl during lectures, and consequently, our minds drift away. The small portions of food that we are allowed to take out of the dining hall are not satiating enough to fulfill big appetites. Imagine the football players getting a to-go meal. A little salad with some yogurt is definitely not a hearty meal for anyone. Lunch and dinner are a time of day that students truly enjoy because they get to re-fuel their bodies. Having the entire meal be controlled is not exciting, and the lack of variety in food is appalling. The foods are premade, which doesn’t allow students to exert their freedom when it comes to selection.
Last year’s system worked well because students could grab as much as they wanted and also decide which foods they wanted. The popular stir-fry station and the delicious brownies are no longer available with the current to-go system. A wilted salad or soggy wrap is not the ideal meal. The use of reusable to-go containers was a great idea promoted by the ECO Agency. A return to the use of that box would reduce the amount of trash left near the dining halls and teach students how to be more environmentally friendly and responsible.
Stephanie Silva is a sophomore majoring in nursing.