Better than Stray Cats: Shifting Perspectives on Community Dining
Many things have been said about the DC. It’s gross, it’s disgusting, it’s an abysmal pit only the lowest of the low would enter. It is the precipice of hatred and malice. The last two were exaggerated of course. But I’m sure as you lumbered through the glass paned door, sluggishly drug out your ID card, handed it lazily to the person at the counter and made your way to a meal you’re pretty sure was dug up from the trenches of hell, you’ve thought about malice and hatred at least once or twice.
However, here’s a different perspective: what if the DC was actually a good place? I know, scandalous. Let’s say for just a moment people were able to have fun in the DC. After you’ve picked your jaws up from the floor, let’s begin with why I think the DC is a great place the build community.
Let’s start with the basics. Number one: social interaction is a good thing. In a day and age where our noses are buried in our phones it’s good to look up every now and then. The DC allows you to do that for two reasons, one, you have to stop looking at your phone to eat. Two, there’s usually someone you know that you can sit down and have a conversation with. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, you can sit with someone you don’t know. Being able to have a good conversation with someone is becoming a lost art. I believe the DC is a place the bring people together to have good conversations. Number two: the food really isn’t that bad. I know it must get tiring after four years, but be honest with yourself, isn’t it better than trying to scavenge food on your own?
You may hate the DC. You may use up all your flex dollars and decide that eating the stray cats around Greenvilleseems like a better option than setting foot in the DC. You may be thinking, “What do cats taste like?” I don’t know, but give the DC applause for doing the job we should be doing anyway, which is bringing people together. The DC is a very unique place on campus because not only can you eat, but you can interact with people you normally would have never interacted with unless you were forced to in class. The DC gives opportunities for students to discuss how their day was over a, frankly, semi-decent meal. That’s something our generation has forgotten to do. You may have hated family dinners, but you’re doing the exact same thing in the DC except with close friends. Can you do the same thing in the Union? Sure. But why use up your flex dollars when you’re already signed up for a meal plan?
If we can learn to lighten up about the DC food we will come to find we are not only blessed to have a meal once or twice a day, we’re blessed to have the company around us. If we can understand that, then the DC will be a better place to visit.