Love It: Grab N Go Vibe — Evangeline J. Gilmer

Let me preface this by saying that I love Harvard and I love all most of you. But I think we should be optimistic about this little break from regular dining, mostly because of the “go” part of Grab N Go. I get that eating in the dhalls is one of the biggest socialization opportunities on campus, but come on. Meeting new people over a meal was exclusively a first-month-of-fall thing. It’s spring already, and those of us who don’t roll into Annenberg with six scooters and 10 friends end up in a real life Where’s Waldo, trying to maneuver around 20 different sports teams. Trying to find a seat for yourself or for yourself and a friend becomes a nightmare, and ultimately, you end up squished on the end of a table where you and the rowing team are touching elbows. (We love the rowing team, but we’re pretty sure they don’t want to touch elbows with you either.) Now compare that to sitting literally anywhere else. Doesn’t sound so bad, right? And the best part: you’re much safer from germs.

Think of what we were doing in the dhalls all semester, eating next to maskless strangers. You didn’t know what in the world they were carrying, and next thing you knew, your lectures became 30% Professor Talking and 70% Ahem Ahem Achoo Sorry Haha I’m Covid-19-Negative Guys! Like, yeah, thank you for announcing your negative test result and for graciously bestowing strep throat upon my frail body instead of Covid-19…assuming you’re telling the truth. Also, where do you guys think the mysterious It’s-Not-Covid-19 illness started spreading? Perhaps…the dhall?

You and I both probably have a lot of great memories in the dining halls with our friends. But taking a few weeks off from cramped seating and stepping back from Covid-19 and the other mystery viruses floating around is better for all of us.

Hate It: Grab N Go Cry — Hailey E. Krasnikov

When was the last time you actually, genuinely, enjoyed HUDS food? I have no will to go to the dhall with just the incentive of lukewarm food. Grab N Go Dining forces me to retreat to my dark and lonely room, while I question my life decisions and eat plain Greek yogurt. (Where’s the granola??!) I can no longer use Jefe’s vs. Felipe’s debates with strangers in the dhall as an excuse to procrastinate on psets. And although we need ways to keep Covid-19 numbers low, all Grab N Go Dining has done is turn the Science Center Lobby into Annenberg 2.0—not really the most effective strategy, besties.

Besides, even with Grab N Go, everyone is touching the same containers, grabbing the same cinnamon raisin bagels, and sneezing on the same Beef Stroganoff. What if that kid that was coughing up a storm in lecture happened to raid the salad bar just before you? Well, now you’ve got cucumbers with a side of Frat Flu, Strep, or the virus in question itself.

While we’re in the middle of what seems to be a never-ending pandemic, we’re also in an environmental crisis. Recently, the ratio of littered plastic bags to squirrels in the Science Center Plaza has skyrocketed—combined with lazy college students, Grab N Go dining creates massive environmental waste. And for those of us who do properly throw out our trash, Grab N Go still isn’t ideal. My recycling bin is piling up with plastic containers faster than I can throw them out. It’s an endless game of Jenga that I never asked for, especially when Harvard could spend the money they spend on plastic containers to pay for isolation housing instead.

Grab N Go dining takes away a key component of the HUDS dining ~experience~. Seriously, my extroverted soul is sending a cry for help—I just want to talk to dhall randos again! So if Grab N Go really does keep our case numbers down, I guess that’s sick (in a good way), but I’ll still hate it.