This past week Commons Dining Hall has started to serve people at the Entrée and Pacifica food stations instead of the previous self-serve style. This has resulted in a slowdown of the process of acquiring your food and complaints from students, myself included.
My biggest issue with this is the financial side. I am a 19 year old and I can serve myself my own food. Why should Sodexo be paying people to serve me? I would rather them either lower the price of meal plans, which would probably not happen, or put it back into better food. When I was a freshman they served all the burgers on sesame seed buns. They have since switched to non-sesame seed buns. I have commented on their feedback cards about this, but I have never received a response.
There have been at least five complaints lodged on their feedback cards pertaining to the new implementation of self-serve. One of the responses given as to why they don’t allow it anymore is “we tried for a time to not have them. For a number of reasons, we went back, not least of which is to serve you better.” I don’t need somebody to serve me and it certainly hasn’t been serving me better; it has actually been an inconvenience to me. There needs to be people to cook, clean, and other necessities, but I would rather the excess people be laid off.
This ties into the bloat of the dining plan. For instance, Flex dollars is a complete rip-off. They should reduce the cost of the meal plan by however much Flex is offered. I would much rather have that money in cash form that I can spend on whatever I see fit. The meal plans are also in general too expensive. Costs range from $8.72 per meal for the 23 meals per week plan to $14.33 for the 10 meals per week program. What is asinine is that it costs $13.28 to eat at any dining hall if you were to just pay outright. Why in the world should being on a meal plan cost more per meal than just paying the door price?
I understand that Commons is a buffet, but the majority of the time I get one plate of food. One plate shouldn’t cost me $12.13, the cost of the 15 meals/week plan, especially since a lot of the food is only decent and not good. There could be an option to allow only one plate of food per visit, but would be cheaper. The prices calculated were based off of 31 weeks of food. Flex values were removed from the calculations of meal prices.
When I started writing this notebook I thought I was just going to express my feelings about self-serve, but it has turned into a complaint about the dining program as a whole. I realize now that I will be getting ripped off next year if I stay with the 12 meals per week plan I had thought I would be on, so I have cancelled the meal plan. As to self-serve specifically, I admit I don’t know the whole reasoning behind their decision to switch, but as it stands with the information I have, I want them to switch back.