TDR problems emphasize need for better management, new dining hall

There was a time when students could make their own sandwich without waiting for someone to do it for them at TDR. There was also a time when you could have as much mac and cheese as you wanted without being told by a worker that you can “only have one scoop.” There was a time when a plate was a plate, not a teacup saucer. Lines didn’t stretch out to the registers and students were in charge of what they ate. We were not limited to two ribs, we did not need to ask permission for seconds and a swipe into TDR was worth the price of admission.

The poor performance of TDR this semester extends beyond portion control. Basic customer service is questionable. TDR has run out of silverware, tableware or cups and replaced them with plastic countless times. This is typically because the dishwashing system breaks down completely, leaving dishes and open bags of trash piled up by the cafeteria’s exit.

This poor customer service includes the employees’ attitudes. Some employees are very friendly and accommodating, such as Miss Christine at the register and the helpful desert lady. But other times employees scowl when asked by students for another piece of chicken or receive a grunt when questioned about the Firewok dish.

With all these factors combined, AU students are not getting their money’s worth at TDR. When students pay upwards of $10 a meal swipe and thousands of dollars a semester on a meal plan, they should be entitled to accurate advertising, decent customer service and basic operations management.

So how can this problem be fixed? First, AU needs to fix the current dining room. AU Dining should evaluate the operations and management of TDR this past semester and work to correct the aforementioned issues. I believe that AU Dining has the best interests of students at heart and if these issues are brought to these officials, they will take action.

Second, AU needs to add another dining hall during the construction of East Campus to offset the influx of students onto main campus. The University chose to bring Tenley campus students onto the main campus this semester, thus increasing the size of the freshman class. Yet the administration has not added another dining hall or vendor. If the school plans on housing two-thirds of its students, they need to provide adequate dining options to meet their needs.

Glenn Holmes is a junior in the School of Public Affairs.

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