Honest discussion needed with regard to deceptive dining tactics

posted in: Opinion | 0

I, like most Pacific students probably do, remember the times I visited campus as a high school student. Like many Pacific students, my experiences visiting the campus I now call home were instrumental in helping me to make my decision to attend school here (after all, I would be hard-pressed to find a better way to get to know a school than by visiting its campus).

Colleges and universities everywhere know this, and that’s why they try and put on their best face when large masses of potential students are visiting. I understand completely the need to do this. As someone with a passion for economics, I have no desire to launch into an ill-informed verbal assault on advertising. Advertising is an industry that is derided by many and understood by few.

Nonetheless, I feel like at least one aspect of my college experience was deliberately misrepresented while I was visiting three years ago: the food.

My first impression of Pacific’s food services, and in particular the RFoC, was awe. I feel naive even thinking about the elation I felt when I ate the fantastic food offered by dining to me during my visit to campus. Admittedly, I was used to an atmosphere of high school cafeteria food where standards were all but negligible.

Yet it still seems to me that the food I was fed on my high school visits to Pacific vastly outperformed that which I receive on a daily basis from RFoC. In fact, on the few days during the school year where there is a pleasant exception, there seems to be a common thread: visitors are in town.

On countless occassions, friends of mine have walked out of the RFoC with a grin on their face, and when I inquired about the source of their glee, they simply replied “leftovers.” It strikes me as somewhat perverse that the highlights of many student experiences with dining services is with food originally prepared for other people.

Opinion pieces on the RFoC, the Boxer Bistro, Aramark and dining services have been run in The Pacific Index since what seems like the dawn of time. Though I have inevitably shown my displeasure with the quality of food provided by Pacific’s dining services in the course of this article, that is not my primary purpose in writing this. That has all been done before.

My purpose is to ask why such blatantly deceptive tactics are used. RFoC absolutely has defenders on campus, otherwise changes would have been made long ago. My main question, then, is to the defenders of Pacific’s dining services: if you are as content with the current state of dining at Pacific as you claim, why is it neccessary for RFoC to put on this shameful guise every time visitors arrive?

The next time Pacific has masses of potential students visiting, I challenge the RFoC to follow the advice of The Beatles, and “Let It Be.”

Would I have chosen a different college if I had known the true state of dining at Pacific? No. Yet I would still appreciate an honest discussion on the topic.


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