Students voice their opinions on Holmes Dining Hall

“Longer hours needed for DAKA” by Jay Krieger

A basic example of the food offered at Daka (Photo by Nicole Rollo)
A basic example of the food offered at Daka (Photo by Nicole Rollo)

The hours that Holmes Dining Hall provide simply aren’t reasonable for a majority of the student body. Serving dinner Monday through Thursday from 4 to 7 p.m. and Friday through Sunday from 4 to 6:30 p.m. may seem like reasonable hours, but chances are their schedule is vastly different from the average student’s. Some students have evening classes, clubs, meetings, or other prior engagements that cause them to miss Holmes Dining Hall’s hours. Personally, I like to eat right after I go to the gym, but if I have to go to the gym at night then my only option is the Commuter Café or ordering food from an off-campus restaurant.
Now, I’m aware that Hammond building’s Commuter Café was just renovated and the quality, selection of food, and the later hours have been drastically improved since last year. But here’s the thing: Not all students have the same meal plan, and thus don’t have the same amount of commuter points to spend.  While the Commuter Café accepts cash and credit, students are already paying upwards of nearly $1,500 for the dining hall, so once those commuter points run out, what then? While the selection of food at the Commuter Café has been expanded since last year, there still aren’t as many options as the dining hall and some of the food at commuter might not be to a student’s liking.
Another major problem is that the hours of the dining hall cause overcrowding. I would assume most people eat dinner after 5 o’clock, and thus it seems like between 5 and 7 p.m. Holmes becomes a zoo. Sports teams and club meetings are often getting out during these hours and with the exception of right when Holmes opens for dinner, it’s hard to not only find a seat but hot food. 
At the end of the day, students aren’t going to starve. But I find that the amount of money students pay for a meal plan is so great that the dining hall should be open later in the evening.
“The Let-Down of Repetition” by Nicole Branco
The dining hall (more commonly known as DAKA) at Fitchburg State University is not exactly well liked by the students. There have been many complaints about the food served but nothing is changed.
Uncooked meat (Photo by Nicole Rollo)
Uncooked meat (Photo by Nicole Rollo)

The food is just bad, from taste to quality. In addition to that, every time you go to DAKA, you see the same things. Going down the line you typically see what appears to be mashed potatoes, maybe meat of some kind, and some pathetic steamed vegetables. Continuing on down the line, there will be hot dogs, hamburgers, grilled cheese, and french fries. Then there is a pasta station followed by a “build your own” sandwich station. In the middle is a salad bar, which appears to be the only appetizing nutritional item on the menu. The repetition means that it’s not necessary to know what the dining hall is serving on a specific day: it’s all the same anyway.
Unfortunately, most students who live on campus do not have a choice when it comes to where they will eat their dinner. The most convenient and affordable thing to do is eat this low quality, repetitive food being served in the school dining hall where their meal plan is being spent.