Dissappearing dishware in the dining halls: how it reflects on Whitties’ sense of entitlement

by Gabrielle Arrowood
GUEST WRITER

“You mean there are cups now?” I asked Kern excitedly as he sat back down after getting seconds in Prentiss the other day at brunch.

“A few,” he said, setting aside the bowl he had been using for his juice up until that point and replacing it with the triumphant cup that now had milk in it.

I jumped up and speed-walked to the beverage cart (Oh, please, please let there be just one left!) to find there was indeed a single tower of five cups remaining for use. Huzzah! Victorious exultations! I pranced back to my seat, feeling on top of the world because I had water in a cup.

How pathetic is it that I was excited to just have a cup to put my drink in during a meal in a dining hall?

The next day, I saw that the dining hall staff had resorted to disposable ones. Simultaneously, there weren’t enough soup bowls for me to have one, when all I wanted was to try the Asian vegetable. And there were no forks left.

Utter sorrow.

I find it all quite disheartening. Why? Well, think about it. Just how difficult is it to bring back the stuff you take from a dining hall? Does it really take that much effort? And why take it in the first place?

I think the whole issue about the diminishing number of dishes in the dining halls speaks to a larger problem on this campus. Entitlement.

But what is it we all feel so entitled to? Who knows. It’s a vague, amorphous entity that we cannot precisely name or define, but just being here creates a feeling somewhere, whether we are aware of it or not, deep in our subconscious, lurking, stalking in the backs of our brains; for some stupid reason, we feel like we are owed something.

“I go to Whitman, fuck you.”

But come on. Dishes? It’s like a passive-aggressive fight against “The Man.” And what good does it do? None. All it does is frustrate, irritate, aggravate, and any other “ate” you can think of with a negative connotation other people. And even yourself. After all, if you can’t even bring yourself to take it back to the dining hall, are you going to have the drive to wash and reuse it? Chances are, no. So what are you proving except that you’re selfish and lazy?

Entitlement. It’s there, whether you think it is or not. I’ll fully admit that I’m entitled. I’m entitled to a cup when I want a drink in the dining hall that I pay good money to eat in. And a bowl. And a fork. But: I have the decency to return them.

I know some of us are “poor college students,” but that gives us no right to steal: and, take it or leave it, that’s what keeping stuff from the dining halls is. I got a very nice and complete place-setting from the thrift store for only two bucks. If I could afford it, you can too.