Students Need a Real Dining Facility

Of the many problems here at UCSD, one would not think a place to eat would necessarily top the list. But should it? In the case of Marshall students, food has turned out to be a slight problem that has many up in arms. As if eating at the small La Casa Restaurant were not bad enough, students from Marshall college are forced to go to different dining facilities on weekends due to the fact that La Casa is closed on Friday nights, Saturdays and Sundays.

Speaking from experience, it is plainly obvious that most stressed and busy college students barely have the time to eat, let alone walk a good distance to put something edible into their empty, stricken stomachs.

Unfortunately for students at Marshall, getting a quick bite to eat is not an option on the weekends. Ever since the start of fall 2000, La Casa has been taking the place of Oceanview Terrace, which is being remodeled and will not be open until next year. The problem here lies in the fact that Marshall students are forced to go to Warren, Revelle, Muir or other far dining facilities to eat a decent meal on weekends.

According to La Casa employees, the reason La Casa is closed on the weekends is that it is not a real dining facility, but rather a temporary replacement for Oceanview, which will be open next year. It is for this reason that the restaurant is not open on the weekends, and also why it closes at 3 p.m. on Fridays.

Complaints and whining aside, it is evident that it will not necessarily kill the students to walk a few extra yards to the more distant eating facilities. But let us look at the facts. First, shuttles are not in operation on the weekends and therefore the majority of the students have to walk certain distances to eat wherever they want.

Second, with the busy academic and social lives that students have, walking as much as 15 minutes each way to eat is yet another burden they do not want to deal with.

Third, it is practically written in the history books that college students are just plain lazy. The majority of the students would rather starve and eat stale crackers than actually walk to the nearest dining facility.

It should also be taken to consideration that for most students here at UCSD, especially freshmen, a dining facility is not only somewhere to eat, but is also an opportunity to meet other students from their college. Without this opportunity available for Marshall students, they are not only deprived of instant food, but also of the chance to meet other Marshall students.

With Oceanview being remodeled for an entire year, the least the administrators could have done was provide a dining facility for Marshall that is open until the usual 7:30 p.m. closing time every weekday, as well as be open every weekend. Having failed to give us even that much, a restaurant was provided with as much variety as, well, nothing.

Eating only burritos, tacos and a special of the day, every day, is not my idea of a nutritious meal. The food La Casa serves is a whole other article by itself, but the last time I checked, eating a balanced, nutritious meal was a big part of getting those brain cells working — an important factor in college. To get to the point, it is obvious that La Casa not being open on the weekends causes numerous problems for students, who simply want to eat without walking long distances.

What administrators or dining officials can do to improve this situation is to simply open La Casa on the weekends. Though there might not be enough business, it would be nice for students to know that they don’t have to walk a long distance just to eat.

With all of this in perspective, it seems that for now, students will be forced to walk their butts to Sierra Summit during the weekends if they want to get a hot meal. Whether we like it or not, the phrase “”eating in the comfort of your own home”” does not even come close to applying to Marshall students. All things considered, we can always look at the bright side: Walking to eat at far-away dining places will save us the trouble of making that trip to RIMAC right after ….