In an email from Reslife sent to students on Jan. 10, there was a small section dedicated to some devastating news: from now on, The Commons is “an eat-in dining location only.” Although it is unfortunate the to-go boxes in The Commons are gone, there is no room for complaints.
Athletes and other students with busy schedules are understandably disappointed by this news. These students might not have the time to sit and eat, so they must grab their meals in between their responsibilities, making to-go boxes particularly beneficial to them.
To combat the lack of to-go boxes, students might have the idea of bringing their own containers to The Commons in order to still take their food, the email states that “personal containers are not permitted.”
The email instead points to other locations on campus that provide “to-go options.” Students can go to The Ehinger Center Food Court, Starbucks and Peet’s in lieu of going to The Commons for a to-go box. These are all options specifically made for students who need to take food to-go, as the Ehinger Center is marketed as a grab-and-go eatery. For specifically limited time, students can even grab a snack or prepackaged sandwich or salad and avoid waiting in line for pasta or the grill.
One counterargument students have is the difficulty of using meal swipes at these locations. For example, students can only use a meal swipe twice a day at the Ehinger Center within a given period of time. A lot of students do not have many points and do not want to use them if they can use a meal swipe instead. Another inconvenience is the limited options in these locations. Peet’s and Starbucks do not offer many substantial options, and the Ehinger Center usually offers the same items every day. However, this ultimately is the student’s responsibility to manage their swipes and points, and when it comes to food selection, this can be discussed with the Dining Concerns Committee.
While the end of to-go boxes at The Commons is an inconvenience to a lot of students, the program will not be coming back since it was set in place during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic and is no longer “necessary.” Drew was also one of the only schools that Aramark, our food provider, even permitted to have a to-go box program. Therefore, students should stop complaining and appreciate the time they did have to get their food to-go at The Commons because the boxes are not coming back.