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Cafeteria woes: another look at the student dine-in

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By Megan Evans / Staff Writer

Let’s Do Lunch (Bethania Alvarez / Staff Photographer)

By Megan Evans / Staff Writer

As a result of the economy’s downfall, California has suffered vast budget cuts at every educational level.

Riverside City College is one of the many colleges that is directly affected by these budget cuts.

Aside from classes being packed with students as if they were sardines, the entire cost of college has increased as well, forcing students to put their educational goals on hold.

 The increase of fees and decrease of funds, has led administration to cut from wherever possible.

One place that may have been overlooked is the cafeteria.

The college cafeteria serves as a modern day watering hole where students socialize, eat and relax in between classes.

 It is also an excellent place for students to go to when trying to escape from the blazing heat or from the freezing cold.

For some, the cafeteria serves as a place to concentrate and complete homework that could not be completed at home.

But, with the recent flush of new students to the school, the cafeteria has become even more crowded than before.

Students may argue that the college’s cafeteria is highly overpriced and the quality of the food in not up to par.

The price of the food in the cafeteria may be costly, but for many students eating at the cafeteria in between classes  beats learning on an empty stomach.

Recently many students have voiced their opinions about the food and more often than not the opinion has not been a high one.

Another complaint is that there is not enough variety of food choices in the cafeteria.

The cafeteria offers mostly fried food and pizza, which is hardly a selection.

Yet, the cafeteria is trying to keep up to student demands by adding newer items like vegetarian dishes such as salads and veggie sandwiches.

For some students this may not be enough and some may even feel like the cafeteria isn’t necesarily needed.

In the spring semester of 2008, the cafeteria was temporarily shut down for renovation.

Some didn’t even notice the change, and it has often been joked that the cafeteria should be shut down.

Would this really work?

Are there any other options?

If the cafeteria were to be shut down it would force students to leave campus in search of  food.

This could be problematic, for many students don’t have a large enough gap in between classes to leave the campus.

Another possibility to consider is students driven by their hunger.

When comparing an angry, hungry stomach to education, some students may side with their hunger and miss a class just to satisfy their growling stomach.

For the students who choose education over hunger they would be forced to eat from the snack bars provided by the school and may end up paying more for several small snacks rather than one large meal from the cafeteria.

One thing that must be taken into consideration is how much money would be saved if the school decided to get rid of the cafeteria.

Would this amount be significant enough to lower the cost of classes, or large enough to decrease the amount of students in one class.

Before anyone can answer this question, bear in mind that this year California community colleges were cut $840 million in funding.

Now when comparing this large, unprecedented  funding cut to the funding of the cafeteria, would getting rid of the college’s cafeteria make a large enough difference.

The entire country is facing the same problems as California schools and so getting rid of the cafeteria would actually do more harm than good.

In the mean time, students should just enjoy their burritos and concentrate on their studies.

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