Long lines, crowded areas make oncampus lunches less than satisfying

September 5, 2008 — by Grishma Athavale and Brandon Yang

The lunch bell rings and the serenity of the campus is broken. Underclassmen rush to the cafeteria, hoping to grab a spot at the front of the lunch line to buy cookies before they run out. Most upperclassmen, who have the privilege to go off campus at lunch, drive themselves to local restaurants for their meals.

Or at least this is the way it used to be. A rise in gas prices seems to have encouraged more juniors and seniors to stay on campus, which causes frustratingly long lines and fewer eating areas. These crowded conditions have made lunchtime less enjoyable for many students.

As more upperclassmen remain on campus, many areas have become uncomfortably crowded. The lines leading to the cafeteria now extend farther into the quad, causing many students to waste their lunchtime waiting to buy food. These long lines tempt students to cut with their friends, thus making conditions even worse.

Staying on campus may solve the problem of using up precious gas, but getting a quality, reasonably priced lunch on campus has become increasingly difficult. To make matters worse, the cafeteria has raised the prices of many items, including pizza and cookies, which have gone up 50 cents and 25 cents, respectively. In addition, most students regularly purchase oily, fat-filled food like fries, pizza and fried chicken at school compared to the more nutritious dishes sold off campus. Health concerns and price increases have persuaded many students to bring lunch instead, which is less convenient and reduces lunchtime revenues for the school.

As more students stay on campus for lunch, the school must work harder to meet the needs of the increasing number of students by providing more tables and benches. In addition, the school lunch menu should be altered to appeal to a greater number of students, such as by providing more choices for vegetarians on campus, which numerous other schools have already done. Not only would the food be healthier and more nutritious, but more students would be attracted to buy food by the increase in dishes. As lines increase and costs go up, the administration should improve campus conditions and food quality to make lunchtime more enjoyable.

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