By Taylor Viles– Sports Editor
One of the biggest changes students have experienced since returning to campus is that of the dining hall. A once-bustling hub,rich with friends, class breaks and overall camaraderie, the dining hall has been reduced to a place to pick-up your meal and immediately disperse.
When I first stepped foot in the “safe dining hall,” the first thing that came to mind was an airport security line. Dining Hall workers set up the line to weave throughout the dining room with chairs along the sides and stickers on the ground to safely guide the way.
Given that no one can serve themselves anymore, the line moves slowly as there is only one, sometimes two, servers at each station to help serve students. Employing additional help to serve students especially at the popular burger station should be made a top priority to increase speed in moving students in and out of the dining hall.
An improvement made since the first week was the salad bar. At first, the dining hall only had premade salads in small shellcontainers. After some complaints from students like me, they opted to go back to a similar system to last year having salad ingredients ready to put together. I’m trying to eat healthier, and now I have the option to have a big salad for dinner. This also creates less waste with both food and plastic.
The wasteful nature of this version of the dining hall has been apparent since day one. From an endless supply of plastic utensils and plastic to-go containers to paper and plastic shopping bags, I can only wonder how this system is affecting the earth if many colleges are doing the same. In recent weeks, the dining hall has switched to styrofoam containers which are notoriously harmful to the planet.
Continuing to create this kind of waste would taint an otherwise impressive system.
Besides the polluting aspect, I’ve been impressed by the way the dining hall has worked so far, especially with the guidelines they were required to follow. Unless you want to stand in one of the longer lines, most days I’ve been in and out in five minutes.