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 Stories » Satch gives it to the lunch ladies

Satch gives it to the lunch ladies

submitted by CrazyJ on Wednesday, January 17 at 12:21 PM

In his debut opinion article for The Technician, TWW's own Satch (aka Decker) looks to be already shaking things up a bit. His article, Hungry for Answers, rips university dining in almost every way possible.

The article includes an objective comparision between prices at the C-store vs. a local grocery store. Guess what? The C-store didn't come out too well. He also attacks them from other fronts including the whole food tasting like dogshit problem and the inflexible meal scheduling. Good work!

posted by CrazyJ on Wednesday, January 17 at 12:21 PM

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nasteeerr
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good job there deck

i guess i have a question rather than a comment
i was wondering in your "research" did you find out if there is a difference in the price you pay for a meal if you buy the dinning plan or if you just pay when you go to eat.
just interested


1/17/2001 1:52:30 PM

chocoholic
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here's a good specific example of food markups:

Hot Pockets: (2 pack)

C-Store: $3.19
Food Lion, Harris Teeter: $2.00

the extra $1.19 the C-Store charges is a 60% markup

and Satch you forgot to mention that people living in dorms for the first year don't have the option to cancel the meal plan. unless you can bring in a certified letter saying you have a meal plan elsewhere such as at your sorority. I am heading out now to cancel mine. and they better not pro-rate that shit for last week. I didnt eat there last week I am gettin my full money back.

1/17/2001 2:19:45 PM

ChiaPimp
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Student Government needs people like Satch. Maybe then could something get done.

1/17/2001 2:28:01 PM

roguewolf
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as part of SG, i will bring this up tonite at the meeting. And we need more peeps like Satch in SG, expoliting these outrages. Satch's articule will give me an edge in this topic when i bring it up to SG's attention. I do believe many other Senators have seen this articule and feel the same way we do.

thanks Satch
rw

1/17/2001 2:46:14 PM

Oskar
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excellent article. i just may start picking up the technician again.
i think that with resources such as the technician and the wolf web available at the click of a mouse, we should start concerning ourselves with how to correct problems such as this. i for one, am tired of the north carolina public education system picking my pockets. how many of ous can easily afford to allow them to continue to do so?

1/17/2001 2:50:11 PM

Kev4Pack
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Sorry, can't relate. I eat at Case Dining Hall, which is LIGHTYEARS ahead of Fountain. Eggs and omelets cooked right in front of you for breakfast. Not crowded like Fountain. One of the benefits of living on East Campus!

1/17/2001 2:58:57 PM

Doss2k
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Exactly! Living on east campus has its bad points like no A/C but we get hot good food for breakfast and lunch everyday.

1/17/2001 3:00:29 PM

Satch
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breakfast is 3.75
lunch is 4.25
dinner is 4.75


i think, i will update if it is different. write forum letters to the tecnincian they need to here u. The chancellor reads this stuff.


I expect an email from the Dining services director anyday

1/17/2001 3:30:27 PM

gancho
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I worked for University Dining through student government for two years & believe that I know their ways fairly well. I'm not saying that their answers are right or justify their practices, but I thought it might be helpful for me to let you know what they're going to say about the various points brought up in your article.

The food in the C-stores is expensive because dining buys it from distributors in very small quantities. I'm making up figures, but say that they buy 100 units of Lucky Charms each month. They don't get too great of a deal on those Lucky Charms. Harris Teeter, on the other hand, can buy one huge shipment, say 10000 units of Lucky Charms, for all of their Teeters and then distribute them internally. They get a better deal. To support this point, the C-stores have traditionally had good prices on things they also buy for the dining halls, like bread and milk. They do buy Lucky Charms for the dining hall but the dining hall Lucky Charms are packaged differently so I presume they can't just buy one kind of product in bulk.

The chefs are discouraged from putting spices in the food, I've been told, because people with sensitive tongues or whatever do not want to eat spicy food. Because of this limitation, the chefs have very little say-so in how their food tastes.

Our dining hall prices are lower than Chapel Hill's for a reason. When you buy 15 meals per week, dining bets that you will only eat 13 meals and only charges you for 13 meals. It's doublespeak, plain and simple, but if you talk to Randy Lait he'll tell you exactly what I'm telling you now. The dining hall people do not want you to use all your meals and do not expect you to use all your meals so they don't charge you "full price" for the number of meals that you've bought. If they were to do something that would increase the percentage of meals eaten vs. wasted then the prices would go up because dining would have to bet that
you were actually going to eat 15 meals per week if you bought 15 meals per week.

Let me mention something about cash points, or "board bucks," or whatever. Every meal plan except one has to buy at least $100 in cash points. People who bought $400 their first semester but only spent $50 must still buy at least another $100 their second semester. Dining says that this money is not wasted, because less than $5,000 of unused cash points remain at the end of any academic year. People who've lived on campus know that so little is left unused because the entire C-store is bought out during the last week of school so that people don't waste their money. If people could donate their extra money to charity instead of wasting it on a case of Sun Chips, then the amount of wasted money could finally be shown to Dining and a case for removing the cash points requirement could be made.

Here are a few strategies that should be persued. (1) Get eggs and other staples to be sold in the convenience stores. We get really good deals on eggs but they aren't sold in the C-stores; the prices for eggs, lettuce, and fruit can be at least as cheap as the prices at Harris Teeter because we buy so many. (2) Get the cut-off for breakfast changed for the Atrium so that people can buy their Chic-Fil-A fat burgers or whatever until 11 AM instead of 10 or 10:30 AM. (3) Get the Wolves' Den to give good discounts on batch pizza orders to undercut Papa John's, etc. (4) Get the North Bookstore closed and put another food place in instead. (5) Make cash points optional for all meal plans; Dining was convinced to offer one plan (13 meals) without cash points this year for the first time ever. (6) Set up donation booths where people can donate unused cash points at the end of the year instead of spending them on candy; that way Dining will finally have proof of the wasted cash points at the end of the year and people will be helped in the process.

1/17/2001 3:51:35 PM

Plankeye
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Ahh...mark that. Dinner is 5.25

I cancelled my meal plan this semester and I ate dinner with my g/f last week and it cost me $5.25.

1/17/2001 3:52:41 PM

Linzo
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awesome job-publicly addressing an issue that seems to bug everyone! the university robs us of the little money we have in so many ways, it makes me sick! books for example are so ridiculously expenisive! thanks for saying something we can all relate to in a paper that's supposed to apply to all students.

1/17/2001 3:55:51 PM

Sweety-Pie
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What the Bookstore does ought to be considered illegal. I wonder what the markups are on the books are.

Anyway back to dining. Fountain could use a makeover in the worst way. I was so pissed at the gook they had for lunch today. I wanted to throw the crap in their faces. And I walked all the way from Wood (since they won't let us eat at Case, b/c we're closer to the dining hall, which is a lie, b/c Wood is not close to a damn thing), and they have discolored rice, tomatoes, and carrots. I'm getting upset all over again.

Oh by the way, great article Satch, I actually looked at the opinion page for more than 30 seconds today!

[Edited by Sweety-Pie on 1/17/2001 at 4:15:59 PM. Reason: forgot something ]

1/17/2001 4:13:59 PM

Smoker4
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gancho,

Add to the list:

(7) Have "spicy" designations for foods that have spices in them, so people with sensitive tongues (or whatever) can avoid them. Oh yea, and

(8) Get them to stop using that gook they call salad dressing, and learn how to make tomato sauce

1/17/2001 6:46:16 PM

Satch
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thanks for the info gancho. Email the technician and let them know so they can inform the student body. I in my article didnt want to simply diss the dining service, i wanted to instigate information and change for me and the rest of the paying customers...

1/17/2001 6:47:10 PM

markgoal
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That spicy explanation is bullshit. I don't think anyone likes shit-flavored food like they have now.

I hate bland food, but does that mean they offer anything spicy? No.

The fact of the matter is they don't know how to spice their food, so they don't. I don't think I would want to try their attempts at spicy cuisine. I tried their gumbo once (BTW, I am a huge gumbo fan), and it tasted like watered down butt and peas.

I hate to rant, but the D Hall gives no sense of flavor in their bland menu.

1/17/2001 10:53:09 PM

Patman
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University dining, housing, and bookstores are a criminal racket. look at this quote from dinings faq page. "The guaranteed base of first-year students allows University Dining to expand its program beyond the traditional dining hall to include fast food restaurants, a specialty restaurant, and convenience stores." Shouldnt they be guarenteeing this base with superior food at decent prices, or at least shitty food at cheap prices. i can eat at 10 10 for about the same as in the dining stall. You would think a hugely powerful organinzation like the UNC system would use its clout to make things better for students. Instead they use their power over us to force us to buy overpriced meal plans. I think the idea of bringing in a private catering company should be evaluated. I know somebody can do it cheaper for the students.

1/17/2001 10:56:35 PM

rubicon
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http://students.ncsu.edu/UAC/

I know that this committee has been working with dining this year, and fully investigated the chapel hill's dining differences. (I believe they concluded our food was as good [fair?], but less expensive)

In my very limited experience, dining has been the most receptive of the various student services. I guarantee they care what we say 10 or 20 times more than transportation or the housing bureaucracy.

You might also want to look at the University Dining Committee. http://www.ncsu.edu/provost/governance/standing_committees/UDnC/. It has about a half a dozen student members that I'm sure would be helpful.

1/18/2001 2:37:30 AM

Seotaji
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I have to say right on.

1/18/2001 2:51:58 AM

imhill
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Has anyone looked at other school's besides Chapel Hill? I think I rember my cousin saying her meal plan at ECU was more expense than mine but I'm not sure how good the food is there.

1/18/2001 1:26:56 PM

GB3
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As a member of Student Government, I would like to let you all know that we are addressing this issue. Working with the University is frequently a long process, but University Dining is a refreshing difference. I would also like to put it on the record that efforts to privativze the dining program have been thought of, but would cost more to students. Currently, the University Affairs Committee and the Executive Staff are working together to affect several changes, which University Dining has readily agreed to cooperate. I would also like to mention that the dining website has a form by which suggestions and complaints may be submitted: it is called "Ask the Chef." Similarly, if you are in the dining hall and would like to leave a message for the managers, simply write it on a napkin and affix to the cork board next to the cereal dispensers. These boards are checked daily and the problems and concerns dealt with in a timely manner. I do not ask you to be content with the dining situation, but understand that we are working for you, and with your particpation and help, we will get more accomplished. Continue to write to the technician, e-mail dining officals, and contacting your student government with your concerns.

1/18/2001 11:12:13 PM

Maugan
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Sounds good.

About privatization, DON'T DO THAT... App does that, and yeah its nice, but its fucking expensive as shit.

1/18/2001 11:52:32 PM

fuddaddy
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After reading Decker's article the other day, it seems like it hasn't gotten much better since I moved off campus 2 years ago. I can eat like a king now with the money I used to spend on the mystery-meat-on-a-shingle we used to eat at the dining hall. Oh yeah, btw, do they actually put mustard and ketchup in bottles like they're supposed to be now, or do they still put it with the dressings with a scoop like they used to?

1/19/2001 2:46:43 PM

Daeath
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scoops

1/20/2001 3:28:18 AM

jsquared
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"Kev4Pack
Sorry, can't relate. I eat at Case Dining Hall, which is LIGHTYEARS ahead of Fountain...One of the benefits of living on East Campus!

Doss2k
Exactly! Living on east campus has its bad points like no A/C but we get hot good food for breakfast and lunch "

i would just like to say that Case is NOT, i repeat NOT a benefit of living on east campus. it is a benefit of being an athlete. another instance of athletes getting special priveleges over academic-minded students. yes, case admits a few random people to get through the rule loophole that makes special facilities for athletes a no-no, but the amount that they let in is around %1 of the student population. i live in Becton, which is as far away from the Fountain as physically possible on campus, at least 1/2 a mile directly, using roads or sidewalks it is more. either fix fountain so it is worth going to, or let us use Case.

anywho thats my $0.02

1/21/2001 1:40:43 AM

rubicon
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It shouldn't be too long before they open clark dining hall on east campus.

1/22/2001 1:37:57 PM

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