If you ask me, instead of our graduation requirements such as the swim test, physical education classes, and freshman writing seminars, perhaps we might receive greater benefit from a required class titled Introduction to Dining Etiquette. (Doesn’t this sound like a possible CALS or Hotel class?) If your experience has been anything like mine, then you’ve had too many non-ideal meals in a dining hall on campus. As a community, we need to raise the standards of general eatery etiquette to enhance everyone’s experiences surrounding food. What good is it to have the #3 ranked food in the country on college campuses if we can’t enjoy that food in a nice and peaceful dining hall!? Here’s a refresher to help us out in the do’s and don’ts of dining hall behavior:

DO: Be patient


It may feel like forever when your stomach is growling and you’re waiting on line, but it’s probably only been a few minutes and you can wait a little bit longer. Maybe talk to somebody next to you; it’s never a bad time to make friends!

DON’T: Cut lines


The bottom line is that it’s rude. Even if you’re in a rush or just super hungry, be considerate of the people who probably feel the same way but have been waiting for so long!

DO: Pile up your plate


You never know whether there will still be food left when you get up for Round 2, so you should probably stock up with big portions your first time around the buffet. And don’t be embarrassed, everyone knows that they want to do the same thing.

DON’T: Forget your order at the wok station in RPCC


The last thing that you want is to have waited on line for your specialized order and then when it comes, be unsure of whether or not it was yours and rack your brain to remember those toppings. So either keep an eye on your food as you wait or remember which toppings you choose and avoid any confusion.

DO: Refill your reusable water bottle with the fountain

Even though it’s not encouraged, it makes no sense to fill up a cup of water if you have a bigger bottle that can store more. There’s no need to get up in that crazy packed dining hall more times than you need to.  

DON’T: Hold too much on your way to dish return


Don’t try and hold too many things at once going back to dish return, because if you drop it (which you will!), everyone in the dining hall will turn around and stare. To avoid that embarrassment, swallow your pride and just make two trips to the dish return. It may seem annoying, but it’s worth it.

DO: Use Eatery, know what you’re getting yourself into


Whether it’s your favorite menu of the week or your least favorite, you should be mentally prepared for whichever it is that you’re walking into. That way, there won’t be any surprises. Plus, if you compare the menus on eatery, you can always go to the dining hall that’s clearly serving better food that day.