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New Sherman, a spread of perspectives

Of all the buildings on campus, the dining halls might be among the most used by the student body. Over the summer, the Sherman Dining Hall received a complete renovation. Part of the renovation involved both redecorating as well as reconfiguring the floor plan for a more efficient use of space. Additionally, Sherman is still awaiting even more construction updates which will further expand the dining hall. This move was intended to create more seating in a dining hall that many people previously have called “cramped” and “lacked seating.” The Hoot asked a couple students this week what their thoughts were on the updates to Sherman and if they could envision any improvements.

Of the many comments that students made, one in particular was that the renovation was an inefficient use of money. Ashia Miller ’17, commented that “if you are renovating the inside of the place you also need to renovate the food.” She also stated, “I do not like the seating arrangement, I feel like it is very prison-like and very not open to find seating around dinner time.”

“The main topic of conversation around the new Sherman is that it feels like a loud dungeon that one cannot escape, the food is just as mediocre, and the renovation was a waste of money that could have been used elsewhere. All in all, a bit of a waste but there’s nothing we can do about it—Brandeis will be Brandeis,” Emma Maier ’18 commented. She also found that it’s “virtually impossible to have a conversation without screaming across the table. Though the food wasn’t fantastic—it still isn’t fantastic—I didn’t think there was much wrong with the old Sherman, especially considering the food hasn’t changed.”

Maier did have this to say in appreciation of the renovation: “In old Sherman it was virtually impossible to leave without smelling like it afterwards due to poor ventilation. Fortunately, I can now leave Sherman without smelling like a frying pan. Also, I appreciate that things are a little cleaner and not covered in layers of grease and grime. I miss the warm and cozy feel of Sherman. There was something wonderful about being in a comfortable environment that was easy to navigate—it really lent itself to quality Sherman schmoozing.”

In contrast to Emma, Shmuel Trieger ’16, found that the new Sherman dining hall actually is “much louder” and the “old dining hall dampened the noise much better.” However, Casey Lamar ’18 commented that “I don’t like that there isn’t a door downstairs.”

In spite of these perceived misgivings, one student in particular, Benjamin Margolin ’17, noted that “Sherman is my favorite spot on campus, and the new renovations only make it more aesthetically pleasing.” Margolin also noted that “Some of the main problems that have been fixed include broken dishwashing machines, old equipment, and the old structure.” Despite being “uglier, the atmosphere of old Sherman is unparalleled anywhere else, and a small part of that has unfortunately been lost, in my opinion.” So maybe not all problems can be cured by a simple renovation.

One point worth noting is that the entire renovation of Sherman has yet to be completed. Brandeis students are still awaiting the expansion which will allow for increased seating in the dining hall. Before everyone chimes in, students will have to wait until the new Sherman is fully complete.

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