Students have a ‘beef’ with new lunch line

September 14, 2010 — by Vivian LeTran

Buying lunch has always been a hassle: waiting in line, hurrying to beat the crowd and arriving after all the good food is gone. As a result, many students pack their own lunch, or, for upperclassmen, choose to go off campus. But for reasons such as not being allowed to go off campus or simply having no time to prepare a lunch, buying food is a part of many students’ daily routine.

However, this laborious task has only been made more difficult with the recent implantation of a new lunch system. Instead of having different locations all offer more or less the same food options, each line now only serves one type of food each. For example, the window is now the “grill.”

This change has proven to be extremely inefficient. Not only does this new system create longer lines than usual, remembering which line sells what foods can be even more confusing.

The prolonged wait time is the result of food preference. The two longest lines are “creations” and the “grill,” both which offer the most desired food options. In contrast, the salad line is almost deserted. The two most popular lines can get ridiculously long, sometimes stretching to the center of the quad and, on a bad day, can take take up almost half the lunch time.

Perhaps the thinking is that these organized categories would make it easier for the students to locate the type of food they want. But the previous lines each contained nearly every meal item, and any student who wished to buy lunch simply had to determine which line is the shortest.

Also, the “creations” line changes food every day, and students often cannot tell what is being served until they are near the front. If the food is not to their liking, they are suddenly in a situation where they either have to pay for food they might not enjoy, or waste time to go stand at the end of another long line. It is also hard on those who have never tried buying lunch before. They have to make a choice based on pure assumption, rather than sight.

If the lunch lines are to become more efficient, the system must change. They should combine or separate food options as necessary to make the lines more balanced according to preference. Students have more than enough on their plates, and frustrating lunch lines should not be a part of it.

3 views this week