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The Hawkeye

The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

Schulze limits, portions are inconvenient


I think back to my PREP experience, and I vividly recall students, faculty and staff telling me Schulze cafeteria was “all you care to eat.” 

To someone burnt out on very limited high school lunch servings, this felt like a dream. 

 I go into the cafeteria now, and it feels like it’s “all they care to give me.” 

In one of the few places in college where I make the choice to be there and enjoy myself, I want Schulze to give students the freedom to serve their own portions from the Home Zone just like they do with all the other stations minus the made-to-order pasta and stir fry.

I can understand the line workers wanting to avoid giving out monstrous portion sizes or prevent students who ending up throwing away what they fix on their plates. But the precaution goes a little overboard when servers make sure there isn’t one extra minuscule shrimp on my plate of shrimp and grits. 

And for reasons unbeknownst to me, it’s taboo to request both protein options. If I ask for a pork chop and the Salisbury steak, I’m left with a begrudged “no” and a less-than-full plate. Most of these rules feel arbitrary. 

When I bring up these gripes, I’m immediately countered with the argument of going back for seconds. That’s true, but with the size of my portions, it’s more realistic I go back for fourths or even fifths.

My counter is simple: these meal plans we’re required to have are insanely expensive. 

Besides housing, they’re one of the largest items on my bill each semester. I can’t be the only student who wants my money’s worth out of something I’m forced to purchase.

I don’t like the small portions and frequent returns to the line because of the overuse of plates. Every trip back to Home Zone means receiving another plate instead of reusing one. 

This means there’s a large imbalance between how much food is eaten and how many plates must end up in the return.

Back in the middle of March 2023, Schulze served chicken wings for dinner, and my friends and I decided to see who could eat the most. 

The first serving was five or six wings, which, while their size was on the lower end of the spectrum, we were happy to have a seemingly endless amount.

Unfortunately, our portions were stunted beyond the second plate of poultry.

 Beginning with our third round of wings, we were only given two or three, again being of rather small size.

As time went by and the tally of wings eaten grew, the number of plates at the table became a little overwhelming. 

We asked if we could be served more than a few wings at a time, but again, the workers refused, forcing us to use more plates than necessary. 

The wings were already cooked, and in our minds, we just wanted to avoid food waste.

After eating our last round of wings, we reluctantly turned in a large stack of plates right before the cafeteria closed. 

We knew it was going to be a lot of plate washing for the Schulze staff, but this outcome is exactly the kind of thing that could be avoided if students could serve their own portions.

Now I know it can be difficult to trust college students with handling their own food, but they’re adults, and adults can figure out how much food they’re going to eat before they’re full. 

And if Schulze is self-serve at most spots, why not let students cut down on the number of dirty dishes and allow them to fill their plates to their content?

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