An Overpopulated Caf/by Marquisha Mathis

What to do? What to do? We knew that coming back to Mississippi College this fall would present both advantages and disadvantages. Standing six feet apart, wearing masks, washing your hands, and following the social distancing guidelines are an important part of the task in order for the university to keep everyone safe.

Everything from the way classes are run to how events are conducted has been a totally different process. We wondered and wondered how things would go, in particular the caf. MC has a lot of students at this institution, many of whom live on the campus and eat at the caf during the breakfast, lunch, and dinner hours.

It’s one of the biggest places on campus where social distancing creates problems because there seems to be no other solutions for students to limit contact with each other.

There has been so much discussion on campus lately that too many students eat in the cafeteria all at once. Some have even said that sometimes after they get their food, they have to stand up and wait for a table to be available because it’s so crowded. This is not good!

“The caf can sometimes be overcrowded which makes it weird because we’re supposed to be social distancing,” said junior Sarah Morgan.

So, let’s just throw out two scenarios here. Number one, it’s already clear that MC is trying to make the situation better because now the caf offers students an option Monday through Friday during the hours of 10:30 a.m to 2:00 p.m. to enter the west side of the building and grab a boxed lunch.

This is a start, but what about breakfast and dinner? The same services should be offered, so that students can get their food and leave, because they still have to stand in the lines where there are really no guidelines being followed. People are all on top of each other, and there’s really no room for all of those students to sit and eat.

Second, how about setting up a tent outside just like we did in years prior when we had an event, and dinner was served in that capacity? Students would be able to bring their containers, simply swipe their cards, and grab their food without all the hassle. 

Things could run a lot smoother if we had a better handle on how food can be taken out of the caf. Now, I know we have the other options of Chick-fil-A and Pimento’s. But it’s not smart spending all our points at these places every day. The cafeteria is included in students’ meal plans, so they need to be able to eat there most of the time, but in a way that provides better safety.

I think for now these two solutions could work to keep everything in order. I believe that there are many things MC can do to help the students better navigate the caf, but we just have to take it one day at a time.

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