Any weekday around noon, Usdan is filled with lines. Lines for Lower, Currito, the Deli wind through Usdan, but there is one less conspicuous though still irritating line—that for the microwave. Toward the back of Upper is a microwave used by students who make their own meals but still want to eat in a common dining area or simply want food that isn’t cold. At peak meal times, particularly during lunch, the line is many people deep and we patiently wait just to heat up our food. Adding another microwave would drastically improve the situation.
There are so many reasons why students make their own meals, and because many of them can be attributed to university policies, we should hold Brandeis accountable and ask for another microwave to alleviate wait times that their policies have essentially created.
Each year, more people are forced to move off campus because of the growing class sizes and the stagnant number of residence halls. Additionally, there are the people who move off campus because campus housing is expensive and only getting more costly each year. With expensive meals plans being mandatory for all on-campus residents regardless of whether their housing option has a kitchen, students are also moving off campus specifically to avoid having to purchase a meal plan. And then there’s the entire segment of upperclassmen that prepares their lunches in campus suites that have kitchens. This large and growing portion of students cooks most if not all of their meals. This year, as Brandeis has made significant cuts in dining hours and options, making our own food has become even more appealing.
So more people than ever are bringing meals to campus to heat up, yet we are still stuck with one microwave. Adding another microwave makes sense and wouldn’t be that hard. In fact, there’s a table right next to the Upper microwave that would be perfectly suited for the second microwave. Running a university is expensive, but buying a microwave isn’t, so please spare a few of our dollars for that. The university could even find one on the Free and For Sale Facebook page.
In contrast to the common 70-person line for Lower, having five people waiting for the microwave doesn’t sound significant. But when you realize that the people waiting for Lower just need to be swiped in (which takes just a few seconds) while the people waiting for the microwave all need to wait, generally, a couple of minutes per person ahead of them, it does become a big deal. Add another microwave, and you cut the wait time in half for everyone.
Though I may be pushing my luck, I’d also like to request the return of the microwave to the SCC. There had been one there a few years ago when Einstein’s sold microwavable meals, but it disappeared. Just because Einstein’s no longer sells Cup Noodles doesn’t mean that students stopped having microwave needs. Because of the reading room on the first two floors and other nooks in the SCC conducive to homework, we spend long periods of time in the building, including meal times. We would appreciate being able to warm up the meals we pack in anticipation of sitting in the same place for hours on end.
Remember when President Lawrence boasted that this university is supposed to prepare us for the real world and not coddle us? Well, that’s what preparing my own food and not relying on a dining hall is, so I’d appreciate if Brandeis walks the walk and commits to wanting to prepare us for the outside world.