We've all noticed that eating CAS food is hitting harder on the wallet this year. Not that I didn't see this coming-the prices of food like milk, cheese and bread have gone up significantly the past few months. What really bothers me about the price increase is this: Portions have decreased, quality has suffered, and service is going down the tubes.
Last year, the highlight of my day (as sad as this is), was heading to MJ at 11:30 on the dot for a tasty lunch. I would go to a different station every day, and was always pretty satisfied with my selection. So you can imagine my disappointment when, after an especially long morning of classes I went to order a pastrami and spicy mustard sandwich, only to find Yank's Deli had stopped serving BOTH! As if that isn't bad enough, my backup plan of macaroni and cheese also ended with disappointment. Instead of serving the home style food like mom makes every day, they alternate between dinner meals and Chinese food (which, according to my roommate, is served in much smaller portions with less noodle options this year).
What is most disappointing to me is Goodfella's, the pasta and pizza station. There is no longer that heaping bowl of the pasta of the day, or the vats of alfredo and marinara sauce, which they would serve in generous portions. Instead, there are these tiny little dishes of pasta (they're calling them "casseroles") and no pasta of the day. What happened to the Tuscany ziti that used to make my Tuesday afternoon? What happened to being satisfied after eating lunch? I'm sorry, but ten tortellini just doesn't do it for me.
Both Letchworth and MJ have been unusually crowded-lines are 15 minutes long, getting a table might mean fighting to the death, and getting a knife is as exciting as catching the golden snitch. The garbage and tray disposable area might cause injury due to avalanche, and I've almost busted my you-know-what on spilt water and melting ice by the soda fountains at least five times. There should be a disclaimer posted at the entrance: WARNING: Dining at this facility may cause frustration, anger, and possibly personal injury.
On a positive note, EVERYTHING hasn't gotten worse-the fries at Letchworth are surprisingly tasty this year, and, although not a big soup fan, have heard that the soup had gotten better. But French fries and soup doesn't make me feel good about higher prices.
CAS also seems to realize that they have some improving to do. In last week's article about rising CAS prices, CAS Executive Director Mark Scott is quoted as saying "We definitely have room for improvement, which we are trying to work on." I have faith in CAS to improve to at least the level of quality I enjoyed my freshman year. And I think they're on the way… I mean, at least they brought back the pickles.
Liz Doyle is a sophomore English major who understands that pickle scarcity is a real issue-- probably worse than economic recession.