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Commons and DKs work incredibly hard to provide us food

Midterms are a time when students are both reflecting on everything they have learned so far and what their experience has been like so far in the semester. Many aspects of students day-to-day life have changed slightly since budget cuts affected the college this year. Students who are on the all-flex meal plan used to rely heavily on DKs suppers for their meal, but now that DKs has closed after lunch, they either have to make their own meals or use the flex-option at Commons.

Most students who were on the all-flex plan were initially upset by the change, but have since adapted to eating at Commons. However, I think most would agree that they would still prefer DKs. Personally, I loved being able to order something and have it be hot and fresh and just how I like it, but I also understand the constraints being put on Bon Appetit right now.

There was recently some hot discourse in the student group about the quality of food in both Commons and DKs. Students have complained about the quality of food in the past, both taste-wise and safety-wise. Most recently, there were complaints of moldy bread and fruit in DKs. In the past, there have been reports of undercooked and unappetizing meals from Commons.

I can completely get behind wanting safe food to eat, but in all of these cases, when others asked what the response of workers at DKs and Commons did, the responses seemed adequate. Employees gave those people new food that wasn’t moldy or rotten like the stuff before was. I understand that they may need a new sorting or dating system in order to catch these problems earlier, but that still won’t solve the problem.

I’ve worked in food service for five years now and I can tell you that there is no possible way that a place serving the sheer volume of students we have with the number of staff DKs and Commons has can catch every single piece of food that has gotten too old. When food comes in, the amount of time it has been made or picked is already varying quite a lot. In addition to that, there are so many products that come out of DKs and Commons that it is extremely hard to date them all and check everything every day.

Once again, it is perfectly understandable to want food that won’t make you sick, but it is not fair to take out this anger at the staff and students on campus. Beloit College has had to use the least expensive plan that Bon Appetit offers, and the food reflects this. The College has said that if students wanted to be on the more expensive plans, then we as students would have to pay more for our meal plans. This seems pretty reasonable, but I can’t help but wonder how other schools roughly our size seem to have better food but the same sticker price as Beloit. Which part of our tuition is more expensive than theirs? Why can’t we have the same quality of food they do?

I also want to take some space here to really applaud the food service employees at Beloit College. I have seen them all work extremely hard to take care of our food needs in a timely and efficient manner. They get a lot of criticism from the students, but they come every day to ensure that we are able to have food to eat. They handle complaints efficiently and are always open to hearing student input and taking that into consideration. They’ve been open to meeting with students, and have come on their own free time to host students and meet with us about meal options and food that we want to see at Beloit College.

I’m upset about DKs no longer serving supper, but I’m not exactly heartbroken about it. There are still meal options on campus, they may be further away which is an inconvenience, but the food at Commons will still serve the same purpose as DKs. I think we largely under appreciate those who are willing to come in early and stay late to ensure our needs are met. Next time you want to criticize DKs or Commons on social media, maybe consider sending a concerned email first.

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