James Kirwan and Joey Mannarino
Drexel Dining Not Meeting Basic Needs
As any college student knows, the quality of a school’s dining hall is extremely important. To be successful as students, it is an absolute must that a student is strong and healthy. One of the keys to being strong and healthy is a healthy and balanced diet, filled with a variety of foods. At Drexel, we are being deprived of this necessity. While we do have a dining hall that is open for most of our day, actually eating there is an issue.
For all freshmen at Drexel, a dining plan is required. There are three different traditional meal plans, ranging from a hefty $1,830 to $1,915. All three traditional plans revolve around the Handshumacher Dining Center. The custom meal plans also provide various options, but in the end, focus around the Handshumacher Dining Center as well. The meal plans are outrageously expensive; however, considering the tuition most students are paying, this is not the issue. The issue is the quality of food in the dining hall. It is one matter for students not to enjoy the food that they eat, but even more of a concern when the food they are eating is unsafe to be eaten. Just in the last few weeks, at least 10 people have been bed ridden for days due to, what they believe, to be food poisoning from the Handshumacher Dining Center. This is a major problem. Once a person has contracted a food-borne illness, participating in academics and/or extracurricular activities becomes nearly impossible, affecting students’ lives and grades severely. With students potentially in danger of becoming sick and being affected in their academics, this is more than just disliking the dining hall.
The Handschumacher Dining Center is not clean by any means at all. After eating there a few times, occurrences such as finding a single black hair in our mashed potatoes and flakes of crude in our drinks became a regular ordeal. When trying to get soda from the soda machine there would be various particles coming from the machine itself. Once it comes out of the dirty machine, it will then go into one of the glass cups provided by the dining center. These are rarely cleaned properly and there always spots and other residue on them (see below). [pic]
This is also a major problem with the utensils and even the plates. There is simply no excuse for this, as we are paying a good amount of money for the dining hall. The entire dining hall environment is a disgrace. Upon entering the dining hall, you are lead down a flight of stairs into a dull gray basement with next to no natural lighting. The area where the food is prepared for the student’s is not visible, and based on the food that is served, probably for good reason. Once our tray is filled with whatever sub-par food they have prepared for us, we are to go into a very poorly designed seating area. The eating environment is far from pleasant. Half the challenge is finding a table that is clean enough to eat at, as the tables are not regularly cleaned off when students leave them. One could argue that it is the students’ responsibility to keep the tables clean, but this is simply illogical. If there are people being paid to clean the tables, a student is not going to go out of their way in making sure their area is cleaned.
The lack of cleanliness of the dining center extends beyond the seating area. If what we see out in the seating area is bad, what goes on behind the scenes is even worse. In a December 2010 Pennsylvania Food Code inspection, there were “mouse feces found in the kitchens and storage areas, fruit flies observed underneath a self-serve beverage station and lack of a dedicated sink for mop-water disposal, among other violations” (Strauss). The Triangle, Drexel’s newspaper, has various accounts recorded about the Handschumacher Dining Center, one of which includes a student seeing a live mouse running around. In these conditions, it is just...
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