As with any college, our beloved Eastern Michigan has Dining Services. From the Eateries, to the Commons, to the food court in the Student Center it is an obvious presence here on campus. Dining Services is even responsible for many on-campus jobs for individuals with work-study.
Though our Dining Services get the job done, it is a bit lackluster. For instance, the Commons have developed the motto, “All you care to eat…” rather than all you can eat. There must be a reason for this, and I think I know what it is: the food.
No one wants to eat the same four or five things over and over again. I mean, sure, the Commons rotates what it’s serving, but it doesn’t seem like it in the grand scheme of things. The food just seems to be the same, semi-greasy white matter that fills you, but in a seemingly perilous venture. Just for the record, I don’t fault EMU for trying, but it might have missed the mark a bit.
A couple of weeks ago, I was eating at the Grand Valley State University equivalent of The Commons, named Fresh. It was great. The people were preparing the food in plain sight and weren’t afraid to strike up a conversation. I remember walking in and seeing the many different food stations. My first plate ended up being an Italian dish consisting of fresh mastaccoli, a red-pepper cheese roll and a slice of meat-lover’s pizza. It went on for about 30 minutes of me getting a mish-mash of different dishes and being ultimately satisfied.
It was the availability, and variety, that made me happy with the experience. I went to Fresh again two days later, and all of the dishes were different. The problem with EMU dining is there’s not enough rotation. I was only on the meal plan as a freshman and by the end of the year I never wanted to eat habitually on campus ever again. By mid-fall semester, you’ve already eaten everywhere on campus, so you just have to rotate all of the same places over and over again.
It’s not that I have a problem with dining on campus; I just wish there were more to choose from. My freshman year, I ended up rotating among the Marketplace, a place or two in the Eateries and Dining Commons One maybe once a week. Near the end of the year, I would beg my friends with apartments to let me come over their places to cook for them. I believe dining on campus should be catered more to what the students want, and I’m sure I could find some people who agree.
I think it’s important for people to know eating is important. Regardless of how good or bad the food is, it’s an integral part of living as a human being. So, if you’re bored out of your mind or disgusted with the white-matter burgers of the Commons, shift your interests to Panini Place in the Marketplace or somewhere else. It’s up to you.