In defense of D-hall

Four reasons you should eat at campus’ main dining establishment


D-hall serves three meals a day. Photo by Lilah Kimble, ’23.

Joe Gilmor

For many students, the campus dining hall is something they love to hate.  Jokes about jammed ice machines in the soda fountains, eggs poured from a carton in a school with a $1.4 billion endowment, and an ice cream machine that’s less reliable than those at your local McDonald’s can be heard all over campus. I myself am even guilty of cracking a few (extremely funny) jokes from time to time.  But in all seriousness (or at least as much seriousness as you can expect in a school cafeteria review), is D-hall really that bad?  Today, I’d like to give you (in no particular order) the top four reasons to use your meal swipes at everyone’s favorite dining facility.

1) The Friendly Staff

Let’s face it- being a kitchen worker on campus, even at a school as small as Washington and Lee University, is not a cushy job.  Our kitchen staff serve hundreds of busy, hungry college students every day of the week, and somehow still do it with a smile on their faces (under their masks, of course).  Whether they’re swiping through a procession of students lined up all the way to the Commons doors or asking the student who won’t speak up to repeat their deli order for the fifth time, the dining services team never seems too busy to ask how your day is going- which does a lot to brighten up a long day of classes.

2) The Convenient Location

This one is a little subjective, but at least for most students, D-hall’s centralized location on campus makes it an ideal place to grab a bite to eat between classes or on your way to the library for your next sob study session.  It’s also located right next to the athletics center, making D-hall the perfect place to load up before your workout (or to treat yourself to way too much ice cream afterwards, as is more often the case with myself).  

3) The Food Variety

While its offerings possess much less than Michelin star tasting menu levels of variety, D-hall does a pretty good job providing students with different dining options.  In addition to its well-stocked salad bar and a pizza/pasta stand with different offerings each day, the dining hall also rotates through a wide selection of entrees, leaving students anticipating the return of their favorite foods (like the heavenly bliss that is smoked gouda mac and cheese) while still offering chances to stimulate the palate.  The only glaring issue here is the lack of vegetarian/vegan options, but, hey, at least the salad bar offers three different types of lettuce.

4) The Atmosphere

If I still haven’t won you over, then let me ask you one question.  Is the value of a visit to D-hall defined by the quality of the food, or by the friends you make along the way?  The dining hall is a great place to socialize (and put off your homework) and is always full of friendly faces.  

So, what are you waiting for?  Stop using your parents’ $70,000 investment in your tuition to buy mozzarella sticks at 1:30 a.m. and put your meal swipes to use at the dining hall!