Tag Archives: opinion

Marketplace: Now Serving Disappointment for Dinner

My parents took me and my twin sister to an open house at Elizabethtown College during our senior year of high school. Among the amenities offered at the open house were free tickets to eat at the Marketplace. I recall eating a slice of pepperoni pizza while listening to my parents argue with my sister. They knew I was interested in attending Elizabethtown College, and they begged her to cooperate long enough for us to take a campus tour. I can still remember how hard I laughed when I saw the exasperated look on my twins’ face as she declared “I’m not going here!” 

Three years later, my sister and I are now juniors at Elizabethtown College. I have been to the Marketplace countless times following my first visit, and I am impressed that the menu has remained consistent, though the food is consistently unsatisfying. I have never considered myself to be picky – I will eat just about anything. However, the dining hall at Elizabethtown College serves food that tastes bad, lacks menu variety, and does not meet the needs of the students.

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. If you have not had the opportunity to grab breakfast at the Marketplace, I highly recommend going. The breakfast options are generally the same every morning: eggs, potatoes, baked oatmeal, sausage, and bacon. A slew of cereal options are available as well, though they are present at every meal. 

While the food at breakfast is not the worst, it could drastically improve if there was a bigger variety of options. I always want to get something to eat before my morning classes, yet the options are usually the same slew of foods I had for breakfast the day before. There are ways to remedy this situation, such as adding variations to the standard menu, opening the omelet bar during breakfast, and opening the pizza station early to have breakfast pizzas available. 

The Marketplace offers only the finest foods for lunch and dinner: chicken fried chicken, sloppy joe, and everyone’s favorite, baked fish of the day. More often than not, students pause to look at the main dishes served during meals then go over to the grill or deli to order a wrap.

While students are free to decide what they want to eat, I am concerned by the amount of food that ultimately goes to waste. The demand for the deli and grill is higher than the want for the main dishes. Besides the deli or grill, students favor the omelet station, salad bar, pasta bar, and pizza. 

Since the beginning of the semester, the Marketplace has stopped staffing the deli or grill stations during the weekends. To rectify the issue, the Marketplace now lays out all the sandwich options “self-serve” style on one of the salad bars, and places food from the grill on the bar by the pizza station.

Students making their own sandwiches at the makeshift deli will reach into bags of bread with unwashed hands, breathe all over the deli meats and cheeses, and increase the risk of spreading bacteria and germs to their peers. The makeshift grill station is equally as bad as its’ deli counterpart, but for different reasons.

 While the Marketplace has bathrooms, hand sanitizer, and that fancy hand washing device in the main room, there are many students that do not wash their hands before or after they get their food. I go to the Marketplace on weekends and worry the CDC might put Elizabethtown College under quarantine. 

The Marketplace cannot rely on students to wash their hands, refrain from breathing over the provolone cheese, or avoid cross contaminating the food. Preventing the spread of germs and bacteria should be of utmost importance to Elizabethtown dining services, particularly with cold and flu season already underway. 

As a proud Elizabethtown Blue Jay, I believe the food in the Marketplace is at least somewhat palatable. However, the meal options are bland and repetitive, and could benefit from a revamped menu. The lack of student and full-time employees in dining services has become an issue for the college, particularly on weekends. This problem may only be fixed if Elizabethtown hires additional staff members. Finally, I believe everyone at Elizabethtown College would benefit from dining services taking the time to observe how students interact with the food served at the Marketplace. This will allow the college to form a better understanding of what students like to eat. Furthermore, Etown dining services will be able to figure out which foods will be eaten if they are served. 

Student, Social Media has the power to change

Our schoolteachers have taught us all that there are three branches of government – legislative, judicial, and executive – and each branch provides checks and balances on the others to make sure that no single branch of the government abuses its power. But, as of about # years ago, a fourth branch of government has been introduced and has proven to hold a substantial amount of power and influence. The media, comprised of the press, radio, print, and television, as well as social media, has the power to excite the public and incite change. The media also has a responsibility to report and cover news fairly so that citizens may make informed decisions. This fourth branch of government is a very large part of our lives today and is very hard to ignore.

Social media, perhaps one of the most popular forms of the media, serves multiple purposes. One of the main functions of social media is to allow its users to connect with one another via networking platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter. Social media also acts as a medium through which citizens organize themselves to stand up for a cause, such as the KONY 2012 movement or, more recently, the case involving Mark Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin. Social media users also use this medium to organize social movements and protests such as Occupy Wall Street, or to simply to promote awareness of an event. But how exactly does one use social media to achieve any of these goals? Who uses social media for these purposes? The simple answer is anyone and everyone.

Individuals, organizations, companies, institutions, and many others utilize social media in a number of ways. Elizabethtown College, for example, uses social networking platforms to relay information about the college and its goals, events, achievements, etc. to the public. Elizabethtown College’s various departments and student organizations also use social media to inform students, faculty, and staff, as well as to get them involved in various programs and events. But how effective is social media at this institution and in the local community?

Social media enables Elizabethtown College to keep in touch with students and vice versa. It proves to be a very useful tool to offices and organizations such as the Office of Marketing and Communication and the Office of Student Activities, for example, because it allows them to get a feel for what the students want out of their college experience at Elizabethtown College. Chelsea Decker, senior communications major, believes that the Office of Marketing and Communication does a great job at interacting with students and keeping them informed via social networking. “I follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest and it’s obvious they’re really making grand strides in making their social media footprint here at the college,” she said. “I think that it subconsciously makes a huge difference to current students and prospective students – it provides an opportunity for students to engage with social media and allows for Office of Communications and other offices to actively study how their students are thinking, what they’re reacting to, what they’re interested in…” Decker added.

Students seem to be more attracted and responsive to social media, especially since it is incredibly easy to sign up for any of the social media platforms available today. Brett Antosh, junior communications major and Co-Station Manager at WWEC 88.3 FM, says that people seem to pay more attention to Facebook and Twitter than any news or other form of the media. If people are more likely to sign on to a social networking site than an actual news source, or even check their campus email accounts for information, why not use social media to get messages across. “Social media is a great place to spread the word about different events on a college campus,” Antosh said. “I think it would be fantastic to start a campaign for something as simple as “Taco Day” on Facebook, while also promoting it on Twitter and Word Press,” he added.

We have seen how effective social media can be in the global society and in inciting social or political change across the world, but can this form of the media be as effective at an institution such as Elizabethtown College, or the local community? Absolutely! Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest provide multiple features that invite all types of users to get involved and stay connected. The KONY 2012 campaign and the Occupy Wall Street movements are prime examples of how people can organize to make something happen, so why can’t we do it here. Elizabethtown College’s Mr. Etown 2012 said on Friday that the first thing he would like to do with his new title is to mandate that everyday be taco day. If taco day is something that we all feel strongly about as students, then organizing a social media campaign is a great place to start!

Students Voice Opinions on Masters Center

With a rising number of students and faculty at Elizabethtown College, and a generous donation by Frank M. Masters Jr., the Masters Center for Science, Mathematics and Engineering has added 33,000 square feet of room. Both Musser and Esbenshade Halls are also undergoing renovations to help bring them into the 21st century. A major factor was the enhancement of student research space.

While the new building is certainly a welcome addition toward many studying in the sciences, opinions differ amongst Etown students. They range a wide spread, from positive to negative. Others are generally neutral toward the construction of the building. Some of this discrepancy derives from the different majors all over campus.

In the video below are a couple of students voicing their opinions on the Masters Center. Please make sure your speakers are turned on, and click below to start the video.

 {vidavee id=”14422″ w=”320″ }

Interviewees include: Stacey Lehman ’09, Jasmine Gollup ’09, Kelly Hicks ’09, Jessica Pandolfino ’09.

(images taken by Mike Moss)

Author: Mike Moss, Etown College senior