The Friday of fall break, I set my alarm to 11 a.m. and go to bed at midnight. Weshop doesn’t open until 2 p.m., and I don’t want to get hungry before lunch.

The next morning, I eat breakfast at noon in my dorm. I feel off from messing up my eating schedule, and tired from staying up late on a vacation night when I’m supposed to be resting. I try to ignore it.

At 2 p.m., I head to Weshop. I buy a vegetarian burrito. It costs $10.50 and consists of:

1 stale tortilla.

1 cup of tuna.

1/2 cup of mayonnaise.

3 cabbage leaves

It tastes like one extra-dry cup of chalk and an extra-thick cup of cement. I also detect what I think is a hint of curry, though I can’t be sure about that. 

For the next three lunches and dinners, I eat the same thing. Plus or minus a cup of yogurt. (Total cost per meal: $14.99.) As far as I can tell, everything else in Weshop is either loaded with trans fats or needs a stove to cook, so these are the best options. By Monday, I start to feel sick. 

I suppose I could get lunch in town. But I’m cheap. Also, I purchased a meal plan, so it seems silly to have to spend more money.

You’d think I’d be able to get food on campus whenever I need it. Or at least more often than the brief 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. window allowed by Weshop. But I guess that’s just how it has to be.

And maybe it’s not so bad anyway: During classes, most students probably live on the same schedule of a late breakfast and early dinner. The University is just being considerate by conforming to students’ poor eating habits. 

And after all, it’s only a minor inconvenience, right? I mean, it’s not like international students can’t even go home during this time and are stuck with a substandard diet for four days (or two weeks if you stay over spring break). Definitely doesn’t sound like a problem at all.

And even if this lack of break dining is a problem, how are we supposed to solve it? The manpower doesn’t exist to keep Weshop open for more than four hours a day. Or to keep the the Usdan Marketplace operating, even at reduced capacity. And I guess Wesleyan can’t feed their students more than past-date burritos and chips for a few days. Just can’t be done. Maybe I’m starting to sound like Newt Gingrich at this point, but the powers that be must be right: There really just isn’t enough money to make it work. A $1 billion endowment is smaller than you think. 

It’s almost like campus dining isn’t designed to work for students who aren’t rich. Almost. Like the expectation is that if the dining halls shut down, students will be able to find some other place to eat. And if Weshop isn’t good enough, we can just go into town. There are restaurants everywhere, right? Order a pizza!

And if you don’t want to do that, then just go home! I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t want to. I mean, I’m sure there must be one or two students who can’t afford plane tickets, or whose parents can’t take a day off to drive five or six hours to pick you up, then bring you back four days later. Yes, I’m sure there’s a few people like that. But they’re anomalies, and I don’t see why we should fixate on them.

I’m sure all these people need is a stronger sense of ingenuity. We all got into WESLEYAN after all; shouldn’t we all be smart enough to make this work on our own? Surely this is just some silly complaint from a bunch of uppity activists. Real people don’t worry about FOOD!

You hear rumors that the administration is looking into creating more dining options during breaks. I mean, just rumors. No action yet. That’s probably for the best. Don’t do anything on my account! I’m just some dope from Rhode Island who’s too lazy to pack his bags and have his parents drive one hour to pick him up. I’d have to set up my computer again once I got home…all the wires…it would be a real mess…I don’t even know what plugs into what. What if I mess something up? I just can’t be bothered.


Trent Babington can be reached at or on Twitter @TrentBabington. Trent is a member of the Class of 2020.