Any student who frequents the Johnson and Hardwick cafeteria is affected by meal monotony at Temple University.
Other than late assignments and fast approaching final exams, there has been another issue that has been the talk of the campus. It is the consistent problem at the cafeteria.
Consistency is the term used to describe the J&H cafeteria. The dining service, which is run by Sodexho Marriott Industries, has consistently served the student body the same selection of food since the beginning of the semester.
Quality is not the problem. The problem is redundancy. This issue has been brewing for a while. A food committee has been established to focus on these particular issues, yet little is being done.
Ask any Temple student who regularly visits the cafeteria what the menu is like and guaranteed, they will be able to recite the selections like their ABC’s. For example, the Latino bar is very nice, but after 13 weeks of soft and hard tacos with a side of refried beans, the selection becomes less appetizing and more nauseating.
Many complaints have been voiced, such as there are not enough vegetarian entrees. For example, the pasta line consists of ziti, rigatoni, spaghetti, and occasionally fusilli. Sure there are four different types of pasta, but it never hurts to switch it up. I’m no Emeril Lagasse, but I can think of at least a dozen different pasta dishes that would break the monotony of old noodles and Heinz ketchup… I mean marinara sauce.
Make a vegetable medley. Add some cream sauce and make it Alfredo. Include some of those waterlogged shrimp that adorn the base of the salad bar. Many suggestions have been made.
A Temple student and a dining card owner, Michael Levinson complains, ” I don’t even bother going to the cafeteria anymore. The food is the same selection almost everyday. I am forced to go to the SAC, and even that food is becoming less and less appetizing. They have to start mixing it up.”
Yet other opinions are focused on specific elements. Sean Wright, a Resident Assistant at Temple Towers, states his opinion about the cereal bar, ” I am tired of going to the caf and seeing the same brand of little kid’s cereal in there. I mean put some adult cereals as well. I know food cost must be an issue, but then take away two of the kiddy cereals and replace it with one good adult cereal like Banana Nut Crunch or something.”
The salad bar is another issue. They almost had us fooled. In the beginning of the semester they offered a half-decent item such as tofu. Yet, nearly a week or two later, it was replaced with poorly shredded cheese, which already occupied two other plastic compartments on the salad bar. Now we might as well put the tofu on the back of a milk carton, like a missing child, because it seems to be lost forever.
It is really not hard to give us some variation. Diners and other eateries derive their endless number of menu items from a much smaller assortment of basic food items. Marriott surely has a large assortment of items in stock; yet for some reason, they have been negligent in combining them to give us some variation.
Well, Temple students, the chafing dish has rocked and the ladle has fallen. It’s time to step up to the plate and do something about it. After all, students who live on campus are required to pay about $1,000 a semester to eat the same brands of cereal, the same boring salad and the same hot food day after day, month after month, semester after semester. This problem affects all of us, especially the incoming freshman who are required to purchase a dining card.
Our opportunity to step up on the collegiate soapbox and make some noise has arrived. There will be a Temple Food Committee meeting on Dec. 12 at 7 p.m. in the back-dining hall of Johnson and Hardwick. It is designed specifically to hear concerns and suggestions in regard to the current food situation, as well as, suggestion for the new cafeteria, which is currently under construction.