I have some beef with the Ordal dining hall. Pun intended.
Now, I’ve seen your comment cards. “No more blueberry coffee,” you request. “French toast sticks every day!” you cheer. “Can we serve a heavier meal like pork schnitzel and a lighter meal like a pasta?” you suggest.
I am a simple woman with simple needs. I just need the dining hall to comply. Let me explain. I work until 7 p.m. for sure three (but sometimes more) times each week. Two of those days, I have a night class from 6 to 7:20 p.m. and I usually work from 4 to 7 p.m. at night. On days when I have my night class, I work from 4 to 5:30 p.m., rush back to campus, change clothes, run to the dining hall, make myself a sad, half-burned bagel and scamper off to class.
It’s stressful, I’m not going to lie. Why do I have to rush around? Because I am a poor college student! We’re all in the same boat! I can’t afford to buy myself dinner three-plus times a week, especially when I’m trying to save up for this summer’s rent.
What’s more, I am paying for an unlimited meal plan. I know I’m not the only student who faces this issue. Some students get off work even later, such as 11 p.m. If it’s unlimited, I should not have to buy myself dinner.
I’m not suggesting hot food needs to be kept on for those of us who work late, either. I would have no problem marching up to the dining hall, clad in my khakis and Sherwin-Williams polo, to pour myself a bowl of cereal. I’m just saying that the hours should be extended to align with the busy schedule of a college student.
A few weeks ago, I saw a comment card that asked the dining hall to please allow more than one piece of fruit to be taken out of the dining hall. The response clarified that more than one piece was allowed to be eaten in the dining hall, but that “if you are taking fruit to leave, we would like you to only take one piece as it is not meant to be eaten in your room.”
You cannot tell me that I am paying over $4,000 and cannot not take—pardon me—CRAPPY fruit to eat in my room so that I don’t starve after getting off work.
I could talk a lot more about the struggles vegan students (or those who are trying to go vegan) and students who are gluten-free go through trying to find something edible in the dining hall, but that may be an argument for a different soapbox.
Look, all I’m asking is that the dining hall hours be extended and that they allow students to take some fruit out of that place. School is expensive as it is. Many other students and I are working a part-time job almost every day. The least the dining hall could do is feed us.
Shauna Pauli is a sophomore English and journalism major from Milbank, S.D.