Carleton College's student newspaper since 1877

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Going trayless will come at a great cost

<ently I read something in the Carletonian that led me to fear that the food services, in response to pressure from a student group called Food Truth, might be considering removing trays from the dining halls one day a week, in hopes that this tactic would save a little food. It might—but at great cost!

The convenience of a tray in a dining hall with a chaotic and unpredictable traffic flow cannot be overestimated. Just consider how complicated it would be if we didn’t have trays.

Someone entering the dining area takes a tray, and then wanders around checking out all of the various serving options before making a decision. If you want an entrée, a salad, and a beverage, you either need a tray, three hands, or you’ll need to make two trips (at least) to your table. That immediately doubles the traffic in the serving areas, and makes navigation (especially with soup, coffee, or other beverage) much more hazardous. A tray also provides safety against spills and leaks from those new glasses that seem to crack so very easily.

Whenever I find myself with a full cup of coffee, weaving between hungry students, I wonder whether I’ll make it back to my table. If, due to the absence of trays, everybody were at risk with everything they were carrying, the likelihood of spills would be great. Wet floors would increase the chances that people will slip. And the College, of course, and Bon Appetit, would be at increased risk for liability if somebody were to slip and break a bone.

All in all, it makes sense to continue using those nice new yellow trays.

Anne Ulmer
Professor of German

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