By Andrew Wang
As of 8:30 p.m. on Oct. 13, Commons was closed due to capacity issues within the hot water retention tank. After being closed down for two meals on Oct. 14, the Commons opened for full operation around 5:30 p.m. Students were thrilled that they did not have to squeeze into the EC to eat anymore and the Commons’ regular hours resumed. However, it did not take long for students to notice the fact that as all the plates, bowls, and utensils are disposable papers and plastics. The reason for this is that the fix of the hot water is only temporary. According to the Campus Notification system, utility and Commons workers are working on multi-step permanent fix in order to fully restore hot water to Commons. Thanks to Odir Pacheco, the Director of Treeline Dining Services, students can actually eat in Commons due to his implementation of temporary disposable plastic plates and utensils.
Although it is very convenient that students don’t have to eat at EC for all meals, some students still raised concern and opinions about using disposable utensils for a week. Thomas Cotroneo (’17) remarked, “The small size of the bowls and cups is negatively affecting my gains and I hope they can fix this soon.” Another student, Thalia Santacruz, (’18) said, “I find it really hard to cut things with the plastic knives.” Clearly, students have very real qualms and issues with Commons’ hot water problem which has directly resulted in the use of plastic items. Unfortunately, most students don’t care that the problem was fixed quickly as they are only addressing the plastics. Steve Qiu (’17) commented, “I feel like I’m on an endless picnic except it’s not a picnic.” Others than the inconvenience of the utensils, some had more well-thought and interesting thought remarks, Gage Wheeler (’19) raised his concern about the environmental backlashes of using disposable utensils as well as the overall image of Drew. Wheeler said, “The utensils and plates feel flimsy and cheap; if I were a prospective student visiting the dining hall I wouldn’t be impressed. Also, isn’t it kind of environmentally harmful?”
The general attitude of students towards the Commons situation is mostly negative, mainly due to the fact that it has not been to long since the grand renovation of the Dining Hall. However, the fix is readily going to happen and students can track progress of Drew’s campus notifications webpage as well as the Acorn website.
*Update: As of Oct. 21 Commons, has discontinued use of disposable utensils, returning to regular dining conditions.