Up until this quarter, our housing college’s dining hall was known, at least among its residents, as UCSD’s “worst dining hall on campus.” A small list of the concerns:
- Each dining hall on campus has a sort of specialty. Our dining hall’s specialty is meat, which alienated those who want to eat Halal even further than they already are on campus, but also vegans/vegetarians.
- The meat in general was pretty bad, according to my friends who tried it
- The veggie pho noodle soup was literally uneatable. I tried it twice, most people in my suite had tried it at one point or another, and I haven’t been able to find one person could actually finish the entire bowl. (sorry veggie noodle soup)
- Fruit flies near the pancake toppings and fruit areas
- Serving lunch an hour before breakfast had ended
- Flavorless soups
- Charging $2.25 for a cup of milk when you can but a quart literally right upstairs for $2.50 (though this is pretty common among all the dining halls)
- Very little variety
- Extremely congested in peak hours because some food items people wanted were frozen instead of ready to be cooked, causing waiting times to be between 10-15 minutes for a warmed up patty.
- All this contributing to the general negative perception of dorm food and of our housing college
To a certain extent, when we’d vent our complains about the horribleness of our dining hall, we were nitpicking, but it bothered us nonetheless. I think inside, we all felt bad that we’d often rather walk 20 minutes to the opposite side of campus to eat at a better dining hall instead of eating at the one in our own college. Also socially speaking, the first thing you do when you ask a UCSD student is what housing college they’re from – and when one of the things the college you’re from is known for is a horrible dining hall, it makes us feel just a little bit ashamed. (Honestly though, we’re just thankful we have hot food waiting for us like 300 steps from our beds.)
So when the Housing and Dining administrators set up a booth in our dining hall’s seating area for anyone passing by to submit feedback, I took up the opportunity.
I was the only one who stopped by, I think, because from the time I walked in to eat lunch to the time I walked out an hour later, no one else approached them. I talked to them for a good twenty minutes and tried to frame my concerns to stem more from wanting to improve our housing college’s image and less about me just being sick and tired of the sparse options .
That was last quarter.
This quarter, here are some things that have changed since last quarter:
- No more fruit flies
- Better soups
- Variety in food. Today, especially, I was blown away – we literally had fried macaroni and cheese as an entree option during lunch. (Got two servings of that)
- I found out they changed food suppliers from whatever they had before to Sysco – I was just pleasantly surprised with the improved quality this quarter and one of the people working there told me that this was one reason why
- Fellow students around me have stopped saying we have the worst dining hall on campus, which is really great
I’m not saying that things got better because of what I told the admins last quarter, but I’d like to think I’ve made a difference. Above all, I’m just thankful we’re get better food now. =)