OPINION | Students should appreciate how far Atherton has come

A group of students recently decided to protest Aramark’s food quality by boycotting all the campus dining halls.

Although the frustrations are understandable, students should be more patient and appreciate the changes made at the Atherton Union Marketplace.

The dining hall has come a long way in the last year.

Students fail to remember the sandwich bar, Mongolian grill, pizza bar and dish conveyor belt are all new features.

From the food to the silverware, Atherton is a completely new and improved place.

In total, the school spent $2.5 million improving the dining hall’s options and atmosphere.

Not only did Butler improve the dining hall, but administrators also  took the feedback they were getting from students and changed the meal plan system to better accommodate student’s preferences.

If students were to walk into Atherton around this time last year, it would be completely unrecognizable.

The quality of the food and the facility have both improved considerably.

No, Atherton is not a five-star restaurant.

It is a cafeteria, and the food is at the same level as most campus dining halls.

To continue complaining is ridiculous, and students need to realize they cannot have everything they want.

Students should not eat there with the expectations of a gourmet restaurant.

With a television and homey setting, the Atherton environment is better than the boring setting of a standard cafeteria.

It has also expanded food selections, adding the sandwich bar and Mongolian station.

The cost to attend Butler is incredibly high.

But that money was and is still being put to good use, as seen in the improved dining hall and food options.

Individuals—from second-year students on up—who have overwhelming issues with Atherton can simply drop the meal plan and pay for their own groceries.

And if students start buying groceries, they will likely save money in comparison to the cost of Butler’s average meal plan.

Granted, first-year students cannot take this measure.

Instead, they could voice their concerns in a productive, worthwhile manner.

They could petition Aramark to improve their food quality and choices.

They could set up a protest where their voices are directly heard by the community.

They can leave recommendations in comment boxes in the dining hall if they have concerns.

Without giving any sort of feedback, students cannot expect Aramark or the administration to make any changes.

In this sense, a student boycott of Atherton would not work because students still pay the fee for the meal plans whether or not they eat at the dining halls.

If you make a comment, give administrators ample time to respond and examine the complaint.

Changes do not happen overnight and it takes time, energy and money to improve the facilities on campus.

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