Editor’s Column – There Will Be Ketchup or “There Will Be Blood”

Mike McMaster

I try hard not to knock Frank and the Coop. It’s college dining hall food, and by that standard it’s really not bad. I have visited friends at other schools, and eaten the majority of my meals out instead of braving the “just add water” surprises in the cafeteria. I appreciate the fact that Colgate’s food is considerably more palatable, but there are still major improvements that can and should be made.

Upon first glance, Frank is the same this year as it was last year. The food, the staff and the dining room are all familiar. But one major change has taken place. Condiments and napkins, which used to be placed at every table, are now located by the silverware and in the food area.

I still haven’t met someone that has been happy with this change. This change has also done something remarkable. It has caused more change. My friends have become pains in the ass. I’m tired of getting up to get something to eat and inevitably being asked, “Hey Mike, you wanna go grab a couple of napkins?” or “Can you snag some ketchup while you’re up there?”

The system last year worked. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. The dining halls are congested enough as it is. I shouldn’t have to wait in line to get ketchup for my hamburger. Even if that line is only two or three people long, that’s too long. I don’t live in Europe, therefore I should not have to wait in line or pay extra for condiments. Also, there’s no reason to make the food area more crowded than it already is. If there are condiments at the tables, the discomfort resulting from congestion in Frank can be alleviated.

Apparently, the migration of the napkins has been credited to a Colgate attempt to make our campus more green. The logic suggests that placing the napkins in a location where a student would have to leave their chair to get a napkin will conserve paper. The less napkins we use, the less wasteful our campus is.

Personally, I’m not a big global warming guy. Maybe I should worry about it more, but I don’t. I’m not that worried about polar bears, because I’ve never met one, and I figure if I did meet one, it wouldn’t be a real good time. But if global warming is your deal, good for you. Hey, if you’re worried about the environment and you want to recycle, that’s great. Drive a hybrid car? Go nuts. It doesn’t bother me. But please, use a napkin. Hygiene is not somewhere you need to cut corners to save the world. Wipe your hands off.

Frank does a terrific job every day at providing variety for a large group of students, and for that I am appreciative. And above all else, the Coop is consistent. Students know what they are going to get every time they walk in. Our dining services are above average as far as college food goes, but there is always room for improvement.