As students returned to campus this year, they were surprised with new renovations to dining spots like The Plaza at Blanton Hall, Freeman Dining Hall and Yella’s.
Not only did they redo the look of some dining spots, but they revamped the dining options themselves, added and took away different spots.
Our main complaint is not that our Chili’s was ripped away from us, but instead, the fact that these renovations are a waste of time and money and bring nothing to the table.
Sure, new dining locations are exciting. It is nice to know the administration took student opinions into account and gave them better choices like they wanted. However, there was no reason to completely change the way some dining spots on campus look when they were completely fine before. Especially when students are saying the food is exactly the same.
It is important to note that the renovations were paid for by the new dining vendor, not our tuition. However, we still think it was all a waste.
The primary offender is The Plaza at Blanton Hall. Blanton has never looked so different, but was it worth it? Was it worth adding a couple of trees and bushes? It attempts to mirror something like a mall strip food court, but it falls short and looks like a crowded doll house.
Not to mention, the added shrubbery and odd brown canopies? Is canopy even the right word for these structures? Anyways, with all these new elements inside of The Plaza, it leaves the place with less seating for students.
In a past editorial, we mentioned once or twice that the student population is the biggest it has ever been.
Less seating, more students. Did no one think this through? Did they see the Blanton Dunkin’ at nine in the morning on any given day of the week and think to themselves that we can afford to lose a couple of tables? It is packed and busy most hours of the morning and afternoon. Instead of sitting and waiting for their food, students have to stand around and wait an obscene amount of time for a cold brew.
Sure it looks more flattering than before, but it’s entirely less practical.
Now on to Freeman.
Now, the dining hall has only one kiosk and a QR code for Grubhub which was not available to find one of the days students ate there. It makes no sense why there could not just be three easy kiosks and no Grubhub option at all. Once you put apps into play, things get confusing, apps start to not work or students cannot find the QR codes.
What was the point? Genuinely, what was the reason for spending all that time renovating it? It was perfectly fine before and no one complained about the look or food there.
Students are even claiming there are fewer options at Freeman than before.
Another complaint was that Sam’s Place dining hall had the same food as before, which students fought hard to get rid of. The dining hall is famous for leaving students with a bad taste in their mouths, metaphorically and literally. Not to mention, the ripped booth seats weren’t even repaired in Sam’s.
So, was there any real reason to implement these changes and renovate the dining locations? It doesn’t seem likely there is one. They have caused tremendous and unnecessary inconveniences for current and new students.
While the renovations were not paid with student tuition, they still were a waste of time and energy. For now, students have no choice but to adapt to these abrupt series of events. The administration must admit to the lack of thought that was put into this project.