While you may love seeing more friendly faces on campus, you don’t feel as friendly when you’re stuck waiting in 30-minute Starbucks’ lines before your 8 a.m. class.
If you don’t want to wait in the wraparound lines for half of your free period, though, you can always order it ahead on Grubhub. This sounds great in theory. Instead, half of the dining options are listed as closed, and the other half have an outdated menu that’s missing a chunk of the food.
If you’re fortunate enough to find a restaurant that’s open and has what you want, you then have to gamble away your precious Wolf Bucks and see if it’s in stock. If you’re the lucky winner, you get your venti iced chai with oat milk and two shots of espresso in 20 or so minutes. If you’re on the losing side, you get an empty cup with a GrubHub sticker labeled “OUT.” If there’s a way to get a refund for your missing order, it’s unclear.
Hungry, irritated, and running out of time, you decide to run to the market and grab a quick snack. After waiting in another line to grab sushi, you look for a place to sit. There’s no empty chairs to be found, just a sea of hungry college students ready to sit down too after their marathon to get food.
It is clear. Loyola is outgrowing its facilities. The university had a record-breaking freshmen class this year, bringing nearly a thousand more students into the already cramped campus. Part of the university’s charm is its small size, but it’s starting to feel more suffocating than homey. We are bursting at the seams.
As the student body grows, so should the university and its resources. There’s just not enough space for all of us. We need a usable, updated online ordering platform and more dining options and seating.
We don’t blame Sodexo for lack of staffing. Loyola’s Sodexo workers are having to serve a campus that has outgrown its dining options, making the lunch hour rush frustrating for us and overwhelming for them. We can’t expect our food service workers to be able to accommodate thousands of students when they can barely catch a breath between orders.
There are too few dining options on campus, making the wait times often over a half hour. It’s mind-numbing to try to grab a bite to eat during the gap window. You have to push through a concert-like crowd to one of the wraparound lines. Then, begins the waiting game. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. Late for class.
Loyola needs to provide another dining location or food trucks so students don’t have to wait in neverending lines at understaffed restaurants. Despite the university’s growing size, Loyola shut down one of its only late night dining options, Deaux, in 2019 and replaced it with a community kitchen and lounge space. The empty space needs to house another dining location to mitigate the crowding in the Danna Center.
The Danna Center, which houses all of the university’s dining services and retail locations, was built in 1964, when the university was much smaller. The building’s retro charm doesn’t make up for it being too cramped and outdated.
Now, it’s getting worse. Reciprocal dining was reinstated last month, meaning Loyola students can eat on Tulane’s campus, and sadly, Tulane students can eat on Loyola’s campus.
It’s bittersweet. Grabbing Dunkin Donuts sounds great, but that also means we have to share our meager space with ten thousand Tulane students. The current dining services can’t sustain Tulane and our growing student body.
The GrubHub app needs to be updated. The restaurants should be listed with their current hours and meal options. We understand that sometimes restaurants will be out of items and they won’t have time to update the stock on the app, but we should be informed on how to get refunds for our unfilled orders. It’s ridiculous that, as college students, we pay for food that we don’t get.
We don’t have the time or money to sustain this current system. We’re hungry for more dining options and shorter lines, and we’re getting hangry.