To acquire wisdom, one must observe

Dining and transportation begin the year with a swing and a miss

As Brandeis students, we all love to complain to each other about the various facilities on and around campus. Oftentimes, this constant annoyance can be overblown, but it admittedly does stem from genuine systematic issues within services that students use day-to-day. And, now that a full week of classes has passed and the new academic year is truly upon us, there is all too much reason to complain once again. If you’ve been out and about on campus and beyond, you will most likely have encountered two of the biggest offenders: dining and transportation.


First of all, let’s take a look at dining. To address the biggest issue, which we have already covered in the Hoot, there has been a major change in how the student meal plans operate. Instead of a number of weekly meal swipes which allowed access to the dining halls or individual restaurants around campus as well as a sum of points which could be used to purchase various foods and items, students living on-campus now have unlimited access to dining halls, five or 10 weekly meal exchanges to be used at campus restaurants and a much more limited sum of points. This change has made a drastic difference in the meal habits of students, attracting many to the dining halls for meals due to the heavy limitations on other options. As a result, many students have reported overcrowding and long lines at both the Sherman and Usdan Kitchen dining halls, especially during peak lunch and dinner hours. 


Additionally, some students also reported issues with the new reusable green boxes, having been charged the late fee despite returning used boxes in time. As fans of the Stein, we at The Hoot are particularly disappointed by the lack of implementation of meal exchanges at Brandeis’ premier bar, which is currently taking points for meal exchange menu items which will, they assure, be refunded when their system is fixed.


Moving on to transportation, there have been major changes in this facility as well. Brandeis changed transportation providers this year, transitioning from Joseph’s Transportation to DPV. Students that use the shuttle services attest to the fact that this has not solved the rampant issues facing the Brandeis transportation systems. First and foremost, the shuttles are quite often significantly late. Members of The Hoot’s editorial board have been stranded in Waltham waiting for the shuttle back to campus which was running 30 to 45 minutes behind schedule. 


Brandeis now also uses the TripShot application to track shuttles, which it encourages students to use and download. However, this app is not without fault. While it does a good job of tracking shuttles on their routes, it has many inaccuracies. TripShot gives ETAs for shuttles, which is somewhat useful if they are running late, but it doesn’t really help students waiting to get somewhere to be standing at a bus stop watching the ETA getting later and later by the minute. The app also supposedly tracks the current capacity of shuttles, though this number is also often not accurate, and shuttles can be more full than the app claims. Students aren’t hopeful about these issues getting resolved for us.


Brandeis students, as we have stated, love to complain. And while this can certainly get annoying, we have a lot to complain about. And until things get better, we’ll keep talking about how we believe Brandeis can do better.

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