A tale of 2 tired legs

| Forum Editor

Picture this: It’s approximately 12:15 p.m. You and four friends wait on a short, quickly moving line for lunch. You move seamlessly from the line to the drink dispensary, and quickly find a table for a nice relaxing lunch.

Example two: It’s a furiously hectic 12:19 p.m. You and a friend, because God forbid you attempt this exercise with more than one other person, wait in an exhaustingly slow line for food. Crowds swarm around you, and you are growing impatient. As you and your friend exit the food line, you weave through herds of people to get some water. After being nearly knocked over three times, you search futilely for 20 minutes for a place to rest your weary bones and enjoy your meal. Sucks for you, though: There are no seats.

Which one sounds more familiar?

Lately, it seems as if Wash. U.’s student body has increased to the size of the University of Wisconsin’s. Either that, or wizards magically shrunk the campus over winter break. Either way, there is a problem. There are no seats at almost any location, the lines are long and slow, and venues frequently run out of food. And let me tell you this, if I don’t get that warm, giant chocolate chip cookie from the DUC café, I get cranky.

These complaints may seem selfish in the wake of tragedy, and I agree wholeheartedly. There are greater problems in the world, and student groups have addressed them in a variety of ways across the campus. In fact, the student response to the crisis in Haiti has been dramatic and inspiring—even today, a booth will be in the DUC throughout the afternoon to raise funds for the Haiti earthquake—so I see no reason to press the issue. Furthermore, if I were writing for The New York Times, I might be more prone to expand my journalistic horizons. But I’m not. I write for this school’s newspaper, and this happens to be a major problem across campus. With the extravagant tuition they pay, the students of this campus should not have to trudge from building to building looking for a place to eat lunch. I don’t know how the University would approach the seating problem, but the DUC, Holmes Lounge, Whispers, and even Hilltop Bakery are nearly unanimously seat-less during peak lunch hours.

When I see students eating outside in 25-degree weather, I know there’s a problem. We were not meant to be penguins. When I see friends huddled together on the half bench thing with the artsy-metallic-looking-swirl-design, it’s clear that the school has not done an adequate job creating table space in the DUC. It’s not only that there are no seats in the main dining room. The café is always full, as is the secret back room past the Career Center. How do people even know that room exists? I’m not whining about something irrelevant. While it may not be a global cause, a top-notch university, such as the one we attend, should have facilities large enough to support its student body. Call me crazy, but it’s a royal pain to have to cover three buildings as if you were in a Navy SEALs operation just to find a chair. Not only is it inconvenient, it’s embarrassing.

Questions that may arise during your trek for salvation: “Why has that kid walked around Whispers three times in the past 10 minutes?” Or, “Why is that kid carrying his food all over campus…Weirdo.” So if the practical aspect of more seating isn’t enough to spur this campus into widespread revolt, let my made up impressions of people judging your lame, seat-less self seal the deal. Good luck finding a table today! Wait…it’s Friday, and no one is on campus; never mind.

  • Philip Christofanelli

    I whole-heartedly agree. Buy some more tables and chairs, folks. Hire a logistics expert to place them all if you have to. There isn’t a damn place to sit.

    Part of the problem is that most of the DUC is comprised of 6 person tables. Maybe I’m unusual, but I don’t typically bring an entourage to my lunch break. Many of these tables are only half-occupied. I think it would be more efficient to replace some of them with two person tables.