The Bates Student - November 6, 1998


Variety, and recyclable napkins distinguish Bates dining

Staff Writer

Over October break, I missed the food at Bates. I was far from Chase Hall eating instead with my friends in their colleges and universities. After having an opportunity to eat in the dining halls of four different schools, I came to the conclusion that food at Bates is indeed better than the food at all my friends' schools. I said to my friend, chewing a roasted chicken, "Your food is good....but I think my college offers better food." By saying `better food' I don't mean that it is the best out of all the schools in this country. I have heard about places where food is just incredible. The comparison is just with four typical top schools of the United State (including an Ivy League school) and this comparison made me convinced to say this statement.

Variety is one of the strong points of Bates's food. At one of my friends' colleges, food was really tasty but he told me that the food items never change. Surely, if we have to eat the same thing again and again then we will get fed up. The case is different here. The selection of food changes thus making the food appealing to try after an interval of time. The fact that variety exists no longer becomes true when someone arrives late in the dining hall. There are few people who have such tight schedules that they can't make it out to Commons before 2 p.m. Getting a ton of work done, the hungry student has to satisfy himself with few sandwiches and burgers. And vegetarians' choices get narrowed so much that they don't have to think what to eat. What is offered at that time is their only choice.

Let's keep aside food and talk about the point, which makes the dining at Bates clearly distinct. It is recyclable napkins. When I finished eating in my friends' colleges and lined up to place the tray on the roller, I couldn't find the basket where I can throw my napkins. After looking at how others acted, I realized that I didn't need to separate napkins in a certain trash box because they are never recycled. When I told my friends that all napkins in our college are one hundred percent recycled, I could see the strange look of amazement in their eyes with a mixture of anger. I really felt proud about the napkin policy of Bates. It is praiseworthy.

At one of the dinners at my friend's college, as usual, I picked up the tray and searched for napkins like at Bates but I couldn't find any nearby. I became pretty nervous. When I walked with the tray to the table, I found the napkins neatly placed on the tables. Amazing! They didn't have to carry the napkins. They could just pull out the necessary number of napkins from the table. When I saw this, I noticed that napkins are not wasted, because no one had to guess the number of napkins they might need at the end of their meal. It made the minimum number of napkins to be in use. I think placing napkins on the table can be a good idea to save many wasted napkins.

It is true that having only one dining hall can be helpful to know more people living in the college, but usually everyone tends to forget this fact, when the dining hall gets really crowded. Sometimes in the peak hours like 5 to 7 p.m., the dining hall gets so crowded that we have to ask others if we could sit beside them to have our dinner, even though they are complete strangers. It is true that we would get to know the new people in this way but dinner gets awkward. At all the colleges I visited there was more than one dining hall. My friends say that having one dining hall is better because we get all the variety in one place. This is also true. I think it is a question of preference to have one or more dining halls.

Judging from my experiences at these other colleges, I would say food at Bates is good but it can be better. In forthcoming days, if small problems of schedules and space of

crowded dining hall are taken care of then everyone would be happy to say that food is good and it is improving to the best.

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Last Modified: 11/08/1998
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