The dining hall herds hundreds of students into its small, crowded space with no way out except for a single set of doors. This dining experience is horribly inconvenient, and I think it’s time to make one small change for students in a rush: to-go boxes.
Now, the only way a students can receive a meal they already paid for with their meal plan is to take the time to find a seat, coordinate with friends or eat alone, and sit there uncomfortably with a high volume of voices surrounding them.
When someone swipes in with their ID, it should be an option to have a sitdown meal or a to-go meal.
This simple change will change students’ lives for the better. To start with the obvious, this will leave the dining hall less crowded, so people who choose to eat there can have a pleasant dining experience.
Also, the dining hall just immediately became more accessible for students in a hurry. If they don’t have time to sit down, then they can get some food and instead of a meal being a 30-minute endeavor, it can be a quick, convenient stop to have food while getting ready.
Not to mention, some people have social anxiety which inhibits their ability to eat alone in crowded places. Since the school forces freshmen to get meal plans, it’s taking it too far to also decide where they sit to have their meals. The dining hall should be more accessible to people who like to eat in peace.
Take the time to think of all the beautiful outdoor seating SVSU has to offer. There are umbrella tables sitting right outside the dining hall, but it’s inconvenient to sit there with no carryout option.
It’s not a good look to stop students from getting fresh air, and the lack of options for the dining hall is frustrating. Sure, if students want to eat outside, they could get fast food from the other options on campus, but that limits their food choices severely, especially for students with dietary restrictions.
Allowing these choices could cause some issues for the dining hall; there could be students who abuse the to-go boxes by taking food they won’t eat, or they could eat while they’re in the dining hall plus take more to-go.
However, students pay thousands of dollars for their meal plan anyway, why should it matter if some students take more than they need?
It happens already anyway when people throw away a ton of food in the dining hall because they can’t save it for later. At least with to-go boxes there’s a better chance the food won’t go to waste.
Another issue might be the cost of to-go boxes, but the cheap Styrofoam or recycled containers cannot be a big problem for the university.
Also, the lessened use of dishes using this method would lead to a decrease in dish washing, saving water and would keep recycling on the students minds.
Every restaurant ever has a carryout option. It makes the food more accessible and leads to more profit for restaurants. While the dining hall is not a typical restaurant, that level of convenience may lead to students buying meal plans beyond their freshmen year to continue eating at the dining hall.
The bottom line is to-go boxes should be an option when students swipe in. Student’s lives will only get better with more options.
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