The perks of a post D-hall era

Eating on campus is much more manageable now that I can use my 24 swipes a week however I choose


Annalisa Waddick

Letting first-year students swipe anywhere on campus is a welcome change, staff writer Austin Winslow writes. Photo by Annalisa Waddick, ‘23

Austin Winslow, Staff Writer

D-hall and Coop renovations have many implications for all Washington and Lee students. The only positive ones may be for freshman students who are now able to swipe at any Washington and Lee dining location.
Every location, besides Evans, has become overcrowded since the renovations began, and other locations like the Tea House and Hillel have started running out of their regular food options. While for lots of other students this seems like a disaster, for me and other freshmen, it’s making our year a lot better.
As someone with food limitations because of an allergy, my first semester here was a major struggle. In D-hall, I was able to eat from the salad bar and deli safely, but not necessarily from the Daily Dish or Chef’s Table options without getting sick.
While dining services tried to help me with accommodations within D-hall, the one thing they were unwilling to do was give me access to using my full meal plan at other dining locations. I was often ending the week with 15 swipes, and eating 2 meals a day in my dorm for convenience. At night I would try to wait until D-hall closed to go to Coop to get grilled chicken or eggs if I didn’t feel like a sandwich or salad.
This was working out okay until I was informed that, after eating the grilled chicken countless times (and telling workers that I had Celiac), the marinade had soy sauce in it. I was frustrated that I had been ordering food and told it was safe when it had not been from the very beginning of the year.
For me, and other freshmen that really need more food options than our meal plans with swipes only at D-hall can provide, these renovations could not have come at a better time.
I can now swipe at Hillel for a salad, bagel, or smoothie that actually keeps me full, and have more options to choose from at third-year whenever I want. I don’t have to worry that I won’t want to eat because I’m tired of the same options and not able to use my swipes at another location.
I can also swipe for coffee at Tea House, and not use Flex that I could instead be using to get snacks that help me get through the day. Eating on campus is much more manageable now that I can use my 24 swipes a week however I choose.
The only complaint I have is that I was not able to use these swipes sooner. I think the school should accommodate a few students in the freshman class with true allergies that need more options by allowing them to swipe at all dining venues from the beginning of the year.
If there is a genuine concern about an allergy, it would be the right thing to do to allow these students the option to use their swipes as it best works for them.
Dining made my first semester of college even harder than it already was, and I don’t think it needed to be that way. So while the renovations are frustrating for most students that can’t get food in between classes because of long lines, I feel like this change has been a positive now that I can get food wherever it works best for my diet.