Senior Point of View: Daly’s serves up dining difficulties

Let me preface this article by saying I mean absolutely no harm to any of the Daly’s staff members or anyone else currently employed by Rider.
I have already written about some of the newer additions to Rider last semester, so I like to think of this as a continuation of that idea. Last spring, Rider made a pretty big deal about renovations that were to be made Daly’s. I, of course, was excited; who doesn’t like new things, particularly new places where I can eat food? And so, I left Rider with the assurance that come next fall, I’d be able skip classes and eat to my heart’s content in a more comfortable, more awesome cafeteria lounge.
Of course, like most things in my life, I am of mixed opinions on the new dining hall. Granted, there are quite a few things to like about the new Daly’s. For one, the cafeteria’s extension gives me more of an opportunity to beat the lunch rush and sit all the way in the back while munching on pizza, cupcakes, ice cream and a variety of things that will probably affect me once I’m 25. I even like how most of the food is organized, with each station containing things like pasta, salads and vegetarian foods; at least now when I’m waiting in all of those lines, I’ll have a good idea of what I’m waiting for, except for the pasta line — that thing stretches down into eternity.
Yet there are a couple of bumps with the new look, like how some of the tables are positioned. There are a couple of reasons why I often sit at the tables near the side of the cafeteria to eat my food: They’re safe, easy to get through and I’m socially awkward around other people. But when I absolutely have to sit near the front is when I run into some trouble. Going through any of the tables is like moving through some twisty, uncomfortable maze that acts as a metaphor for how awful your life has become. It gets even worse when you’re actually carrying food, and it literally becomes a matter of life and going back to your dorm room with New England chowder on your shirt. Eating food shouldn’t be so mentally exhausting.
And the food is a mixed bag as well. I’m not too choosy over what I eat since I mostly view food as sustenance before I go back to the daily grind and continue to ignore my work, but I’m convinced that there was more variety among the ruinous wreck that was “old Daly’s.” Perhaps my mind is playing games with me, or I simply have forgotten everything that I’ve done in my previous semesters, but it feels like I’m eating mostly the same things over and over again.
So, final thought on the new Daly’s: It’s all right. I know I’m a fairly apathetic person to begin with so maybe my opinion won’t mean much, but aside from a few hiccups, it’s aesthetically pleasing, and I can still gorge on free food.

-Chris Exantus
Senior journalism major

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