Over the last couple of years, the dining experience here at Eastern has evolved quite a bit. In an effort to create a more effective atmosphere, the men and women who decide such things have broken the cardinal rule against the mundane: They’ve changed too much, too fast. For those of us who remember the good old days of the trays, the make-your-own-sandwich line and napkins on the table, this newest edition to the dining commons is sure to add insult to injury.
Now, I’m not exactly the poster-girl for change, so I have a hard time looking at certain things with an objective eye. That said, when I first arrived in Eastern’s dining commons this semester I was miffed to discover that instead of taking my fair share of eggs for breakfast I was going to have to wait. Wait for what? Wait for a Sodexo employee to make me a plate. She gave me half a scoop. When I asked for more? A quarter of a scoop. It took me half a minute to get a decent portion of eggs on my plate.
Frustrated with the new system, I set in to make my disapproval known. I griped to anyone who would listen about how the old system was perfectly fine, about how the new system is time ineffective, and about how it will fail miserably when 2,000 students arrive on campus in the next week. All of which is true.
When I spoke to a Sodexo employee he informed me that this new system is doing one thing. It is minimizing the amount of bacterial contamination on the serving spoons. To that, I wish to say this: If germs are such a big concern, will Sodexo soon have its employees serving us our cereal and ice cream too? I certainly hope not.
I’ve also heard it said, by supporters of the new system, that it is creating some, if very few, new jobs for students on campus. Since the Federal Work Study program has taken a hit across the nation, this isn’t such a bad thing. But now, consider this: Last year, anywhere between three and five students could serve themselves simultaneously while one employee stood aimlessly behind the counter. This year, our hungry undergraduates will have to wait on an even longer line while two inexperienced Sodexo employees dish out food. But hey, if it’s creating new jobs …