Food options slim for students who brave campus life on weekends

Whitney Ingersoll

When I came to Western from Alabama, I had no clue that almost everyone left campus every weekend. After MASTER Plan, I noticed that students were bringing out the same suitcases they had brought seven days before. I later found out that most of the students here are between 15 minutes to three hours away from campus. If I was that close to college and had a car, I would go home too. But I wouldn’t go home every weekend because I would want to experience the college life. You know what I’m talking about – going to parties, hanging with friends, staying out late and not having to worry about Mom and Dad saying “no, you can’t do that.”

However, since I live more than three hours away, I have to stay on campus unless I go visit some of my friends’ homes.

Initially, I didn’t think I would mind staying on campus. “This is college,” I thought. “There should be plenty to do to keep myself occupied.” Besides, I figured that I could go to Downing University Center for food. Although my friends with cars had driven their cars home, the Bate Shop would be there if I need something. Boy was I wrong.

On the weekend, I can’t eat because Fresh Food Company and the food court aren’t open at the times that I’m hungry. For example, Sunday through Thursday, Grille Works is open until 11 p.m. But on Friday, it closes early. Why? Because it’s assumed that no one will be here to eat. Well, I’m here! Friday is the night that I want to hang out, and I can’t get something to eat before I go because everything is closed. Even Subway is closed. I think of it this way: why am I going to go out and pay for food when I have a meal plan? I’m paying for food that I can’t eat!

Come on now. That’s not right.

One Saturday I decided that I was going to be clever and buy myself a box of Hot Pockets to eat. Living in Bates, I don’t have to worry about going too far to get to what I like to call the “on-campus grocery store.” Well I put on some sweats and moseyed my way down to the Bate Shop to find that it’s not even open on Saturday. What a slap in the face! I couldn’t have been more disappointed in my campus. It was like the “powers that be” were telling me that I, a weekender, wasn’t important enough to have ONE person operate the Bate Shop on Saturday.

So, without the option of DUC or the Bate Shop, I had to do the only thing I could: order pizza. Most of the money I spend is on food to eat during the weekend. It gets expensive, and, needless to say, it’s not healthy to have to eat pizza every weekend. Besides, I don’t have enough room in my refrigerator. You should see it now. Maybe I should invest in healthier take-out options such as subs from Jimmy Johns or Chinese from Happy Inn. That’s what I’ll do next time.

Whitney Ingersoll is a freshman print journalism major from Montgomery, Ala.

The opinions expressed in this commentary do not reflect the opinions of the Herald, Western or its administration.