by Taylor Morris
I was researching some very important topics on Facebook the other day, when my feed was viciously assaulted by a series of posts in the Sewanee Dining Advisory Group (SDAG). Of particular note was a post from one “Raychul ThrillingPlace Robertsun”, requesting that the soap water McClurg workers accidentally put in the soda machines one afternoon return because, “it was so ON POINT”. After pondering the social implications of her ridiculous title, I realized that my consternation should be more appropriately directed at her preposterous request.
This above example is of course fictional, but I feel it illustrates the crisis that plagues Sewanee Dining. One major issue is the state of the SDAG, a Facebook page with excellent intentions but poor execution. I do not post in the group, for I know my opinions are not welcome there. Any advice as to how our dining might be able to improve beyond “please serve this again” or “I liked this today,” summons a stampede of McClurg White Knights, whose passive aggressive comments leave the populace to conclude that those who don’t appreciate Sewanee food are worse than the Devil himself. Now, there’s nothing wrong with appreciating what is given to us, but I am frustrated by the notion that we can’t give more than superficial advice on the SDAG.
Frankly, in a group supposedly dedicated to improving an aspect of our community, I’m tired of hearing how, beyond the occasional bowl of “insert food I’ve never even heard of here,” Sewanee’s food is perfect. I’m tired of hearing about how much better our food is than other schools (this is not a universally held opinion, by the way). I’m tired of being part of a student body that doesn’t wish to or even believe that any aspect of our community can’t improve in big ways. Such things are always possible and should be encouraged.
Because of our collective mentality, we are left in this current state. Our advisory group does not dispense advice, it merely makes ridiculous requests to return to older ways or exclusively sings praise of the status quo. I will support one aspect of the White Knight Crusade, however. Chef Rick Wright does honestly seem to care about what we post and our opinions. He repeatedly tries to fulfill everyone’s requests and make changes when asked. I doubt we will offend him with our polite, honest thoughts as to what larger changes we might like to see in our eating experience. I’d love to see more soapy water in McClurg myself, but perhaps we need to make our suggestions a little more meaningful.