Etiquette in the Dining Hall

Sarah Manderbach '22, Opinion Editor

We all know that Dining Services is not running the best at this point in the semester. We’ve all seen the posters from clubs about pushes for change and reform within Dining Services, and I agree with all of them. 

However, in my opinion this does not excuse the absolutely horrible and disrespectful behavior that I have seen within the dining hall, and it honestly disgusts me. So here is my senior perspective on how to properly act in the dining hall during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

First, don’t skip in the cafeteria line. It’s not that hard, people. I understand you want to stand in line with your friends. Who doesn’t when the line is half an hour long? But that does not give you the excuse to ruin the chance to get food for every single person in line behind you. Don’t save spots. Be respectful and mindful that everyone else is struggling with the long lines. Tell your friend to wait in line like everyone else. You’re not entitled to skip in line just because you go to Dickinson, so stop acting like a selfish Karen when asked to go to the back of the line.

I’ve had friends who have witnessed skipping in line first hand. You’re already upset with how long the lines are, but when more people just get added to the already existing line in front of you, now making your wait even longer, adding even more to people’s anger. Plus it’s just disrespectful and rude. 

Second, for the safety of everyone, please bring your mask and wear it properly. No it doesn’t go below your nose or below your chin for that matter. If you can’t wear it properly, go find food somewhere else. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen some people come into the dining hall with absolutely no mask. I’m sorry, but how do you just “forget” a mask when this school mandates it to be worn indoors at all times, and no that rule does not have “at your own leisure” as a fine print. Also, if someone asks you to fix your mask, fix your mask. It takes less than five seconds, I promise you.

Finally, and probably my most important point, please be nice to the dining staff. They are having to fill up so many absent spots, and I’m not talking about student call-offs. My news piece for this week says that Dining Services has almost 50 open spots for non-student-workers, and that doesn’t include or count the amount of call-offs or empty shifts that student workers have on a daily basis. 

The amount of stress that the Dining Services workers have to go through on a daily basis is immense, and I commend them so much for continuing to work as someone who used to work in Dining Services their first year at Dickinson. That being said, please be kind. Say thank you, wish them a good day, just be a decent human being.

In short, don’t cut in line, wear a mask, and be kind. These should be simple steps. Yet, people seem to amaze me every single time how ignorant and insolent they can be when it comes to being a respectful and decent person.