Dickin’ Around – Trayless Eating & Pop Culture

Author: Matt Guariglia ’12

Fall already, the leaves are changing color and in their more elegant state, decide that they are tired of hearing the shrill yells of the sorority pledging and let go for good. It has been a rather eventful couple of weeks as everyone falls into their schedules and for now it appears the general atmosphere of the campus is cheerful. There are still a few things of course that don’t seem right; there have to be, right? I still hear whispers in the café of some people unhappy about the lack of trays. I understand its very hard juggling your beverage, a plate loaded with food, and a small bowl for ketchup all the way back to that god forsaken table your friends found of the far side of the room, but as most of you know, there is environmental benefit for this inconvenience. Based on two studies conducted in 2008, one by the Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition and one by ARAMARK higher learning, after a few weeks of comparative tray and tray-less dining at a large research university, they concluded that tray-less dining would not only reduce the use of water by around 300,000 gallons a year and the need for sometimes hazardous cleaning agents, but would also reduce the amount of food waste by 46 pounds per person per year. It turns out, that when you don’t have all that room to carry two extra pieces of cake that you will not eat, you save food! According to the Dickinson website we have 2, 353 full time students. This means removing trays saves 108,238 pounds of food per year at Dickinson! That seems to be enough unwasted food to support a small African nation for a couple of months, get on that campus service groups. This may also help lower the effects of America’s over-eating craze at Dickinson, once again affirming out title as America’s Fittest school.

Just as it seems however, that Dickinson has become completely innovative in one way, they surprise you by getting so overwhelmingly old school. One of my favorite institutions on campus is the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues. For those of you who have never attended one of their lectures, shame on you. They bring some really interesting lectures to this campus that if attended, will make your I.Q rise at least twenty points. This semester is no exception, but there is something I want to address. The Clarke Forum’s lectures this semester are supposedly “pop culture” themed, but of the lectures I have attended, I have seen one about Bob Dylan, and one about 1980s racism and the Black Panthers. I am not certain, but perhaps the Stern Great Room travels through space and time much slower then the rest of the world and is stuck in 1974. When addressing pop culture I am sure other things will come to mind, such as the morality of reality television, or homosexuality in pop music or other interesting topics such as that. Oh well, maybe next year the Clarke Forum will more effectively label their programs. Until that day Dickinson, I hope you all attend this Friday’s lecture on the booming Pet Rock industry. 


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