OPINION | Atherton renovation beautified dining hall but missed substantial food concerns

Photo by Josh Morris

During winter break, The Market Place at Atherton Union went under renovation.

The new setup opens up the room more, gives students more beverage options and provides more booth space that breaks up the daily battle between the hard seat and your behind.

Many students believed that the facelift was much needed. The  improvement turned out pretty nice, but I would have rather had a major upgrade in food quality over an upgrade in setting.

Other students agreed that the Market Place look beautiful.

“I thinks it’s one of the things they should have done,” freshman Jacob McElroy said. “I like it a lot better than I used to.”

McElroy eats in Atherton most nights, if not every night, of the week. He gave the new Market Place a 9 out of 10 rating.

“It was money well spent,” junior Alexander Perritt said. “Things were old. It was due for a renovation.”

The biggest difference is the amount of space there is in the dining area.

“Before, everything was clogged,” Perritt said, “and I couldn’t even back my chair up without elbowing a dude in the back of the head.”

Both McElroy and Perritt would have preferred to have better grub instead of an flashier dining room.

Not only are students fans of the new Atherton design, but the staff is happy the school invested in upgrading the dining hall.

“I love it,” said Lenora Winn, a worker in the dining hall. “I don’t think I would change anything.”

I like the new setup, but there are several huge issues that have come about because of the new arrangement.

Every time I have eaten there, I have struggled to find a place to sit.

I normally take two to three laps around the room to find an open table, and if I want to eat in a group of more than five people, good luck trying to find five chairs or a table big enough.

According to Aramark, seating capacity went from 385 to 410.

Maybe the redesign is encouraging students to eat in the Market Place instead of devouring microwavable meals in their room or off campus.

The other issue is the lines to the serving area veer every which way.

It’s so chaotic that I work up an appetite after fighting my way through the cluster of people.

The lines are so long, I normally have to take a minute to determine which one corresponds to which food station.

I agree that Atherton was due for a renovation, but the students I spoke to all agreed that money spent on the menu would go a lot farther.

I could have put up with another semester or two of rubbing up behind a stranger as I pass my food over their head: awkward.

Although it’s nice to watch “Sports Center” at all of my meals, I would rather have something I could actually enjoy eating on my plate.

Student affairs didn’t hit a home run,  but more of a base hit with the new renovation.

Hopefully the next investment they make will be offering a tastier collection of the main attraction—food.


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