I’ve been hearing a lot of unfounded complaints about the new Great Hall, including your scathing editorial in the Lambda. However, the people who are complaining about the new cafeteria are complaining for some of the most ridiculous reasons.
First of all, the cafeteria isn’t meant to be a grab & go deal. It’s not meant for people who just need a coffee and a muffin or a quick to-go meal. And yes, the lines for Starbucks and Tim Horton’s occasionally get long. HOWEVER, to make up for it they opened a brand new bistro in East Residence. There’s also Alumni Hall which still has a grab-and-go style cafeteria. And then of course, if you only have ten minutes between classes, maybe you should plan ahead and bring some snacks? Just a thought.
The Great Hall wasn’t built with the mindset of being fast. It was built with the mindset of helping the students in residence who have meal plans. I’ve eaten at Aramark’s old cafeteria. And let’s be honest, if you think this cafeteria “missed the mark”, then you must not remember how bad it used to be. All the students who have meal plans are now able to get full, fresh meals. We have a variety of choice. It’s not just pizza and burgers anymore. It’s fresh, healthy food, because, believe it or not, that’s what we need.
Also, when you consider the amount of staff on the clock at any given time, the amount of food eaten and every other cost of maintaining the great hall, it’s worth it. As someone who has taken Culinary Arts courses at Boreal, I can tell you that the food that we’re getting is worth a lot more than 35% of what we’re paying. Good food, especially fresh, good quality produce in Northern Ontario, is expensive.
As for the bags, they’ve become a lot more consistent, making everyone put theirs in a locker. Also, they now encourage people who go eat together to share a locker, which helps save space. As for separating people, it’s so that they don’t go get food they didn’t pay for. Because, let’s all be honest, there would be many people claiming to have paid even when they didn’t.
I’m not saying the new cafeteria is perfect. They just opened and their still working out the kinks and finding the best ways to make it work. However, they’re doing a great job at getting nutritious food into people who would otherwise be surviving on a diet of Kraft Dinner, muffins, twenty five cent ramen noodles, pizza and coffee. So don’t complain about what they aren’t doing. Because with three grab-and-go cafeterias (East, Alphonse and Alumni), a Tim Horton’s, a Subway, and a Starbucks; a nice sit-down meal is a great change.
Eric J F Fournier
Editors note: This letter to the editor is un-edited and appears exactly as it was recieved.