BY KELTON HOLSEN, STAFF WRITER
Augsburg students watched from their windows as smoke billowed from the windows of the third floor of the Christensen Center in the early morning of Saturday, Jan. 28. As we learned later, there had been a fire that destroyed the kitchen and also made the entire third floor unusable for the next month.
Speculation ran rampant about the cause of the fire. While it had allegedly been caused by an uncleaned lint filter in a dryer, I’m wondering if I maybe should not have given A’viands a copy of my mixtape.
However, I must give credit to the food service at Augsburg; within days, they had a system set up so that students could use the entire meal plan they were forced to pay for. Almost overnight, Nabo was converted from a sit-down restaurant for spending your FlexPoints on disappointing fried food to an all-you-can-eat buffet for spending your meal credits on disappointing fried food.
Now, admittedly the fire at the Commons was not entirely A’viands’ fault. After all, kitchens spontaneously combust all the time. And, given the circumstances, they have done a great job continuing to provide us with access to food that we already paid far too much for. However, let’s be frank: this fire has made eating on campus even more inconvenient than it already was.
Right now, students have two options for where to use their meal plans. The first option is to use the meal credits they have at Einstein’s. This is the most convenient option due to the fact that it’s actually near the majority of the residence halls, and furthermore, there is currently no limit on the number of meal replacements students can get there. A’viands, in their generosity, has given us the opportunity to spend the meal credits they spent about $10 on, trust me, I did the math, on a $3 bagel and a $2 cup of coffee. If that’s not enough, it costs extra for that bagel to have flavored cream cheese. How generous.
The second option students have is to make the long, grueling trek across campus to Nabo. Once there, legend tells that if a student survives the perilously long line, mountains of food await beyond: a butane-scented buffet line a single table long, usually holding meat, vegetables, some sort of grain, and, for the vegans, fried tofu. Plus, sometimes they order Domino’s when they run out of food they are supposed to be making. Students will be glad to know that one thing that has not changed after the fire: food on the weekends is still served at inconvenient hours and highly lacking for choice.
Of course, A’viands cannot magically make the Commons fix itself. That will be the job of continued construction efforts for the weeks remaining until the third floor of Christensen Center can be reopened. Perhaps they will fix the sprinkler system as well. What would be feasible, however, would be for A’viands to not require students to pay full-price for the current state of food at Augsburg. Due to the inconvenience of the current setup, many students find it difficult to spend their entire meal plan and are thus forced to go out and buy actual food.
Understandably, it takes a lot of money to run food service at Augsburg. I mean, they serve three meals a day except on weekends. However, the current situation is not the responsibility of the students, and we shouldn’t have to shoulder the cost.
This article first appeared in the Friday, February 17, 2017, Edition of The Echo.