The meal – it’s is one of the central parts of college life. It is a time to gather together with your beloved peers and discuss the works of Nietzsche and Proust, and why Lindsay Lohan can’t stay out of the hospital.

Okay, so most of our meal-time conversations don’t involve great philosophers, but instead usually revolve around something really profound, like the debate over why girls wear Juicy velour pants versus mock Juicy velour pants – both accentuate the junk in the trunk but one for half the price.

One could always discuss the deliciousness of the food – oh wait, no they can’t. As Woody Allen said in one of his movies to an extremely neurotic love interest, “the food here is terrible and the portions are too small.” However, in particular eating venues on this campus one may be able to find something appetizing enough that they can stuff it down every day of the week.

In my four years here I have spent a lot of time in each of the dining halls, and by using my anthropological skills – which I developed both from the one anthropology class I took first semester freshmen year and from Indiana Jones movies – I have constructed a thorough analysis of what each dining hall says about the students who gorge themselves in these places, that is when not pursuing their education.

To begin, let us look at Douglass. I didn’t realize Douglass existed until half way through my freshmen year and when I first went there, I was convinced it was only for upper classmen. Douglass draws a big lunch crowd due to its exotic lunch variety, which includes quesadillas and that whole barbeque area. I would say the typical person who eats at Douglass is saying “Yes, I have things to do but I am willing to have a leisurely lunch with a more sophisticated crowd than oh, say the Pit.”

The Pit consumer is usually in a hurry and is a bit unhappy to be there because they know they will probably end up eating chicken fingers rather than something healthy.

Though the Pit is the best place to get sushi, the atmosphere is chaotic and a bit disconcerting. I think the Pit harbors a lot of negative feelings simply because it’s called “the Pit.” I mean what if it was called “Serenity” like Britney Spears’ mansion in Louisiana? If we were to say, “Let’s meet at Serenity at one for lunch” an entirely new connotation would be brought to the Pit.

I don’t feel Danforth is really even worthy of discussion, since the last time I was in there I was given scrambled eggs which had the bonus ingredient of lemon juice – hey, it’s yellow so why not put it in eggs?

I was also forced to eat my Lucky Charms out of a cup with a fork.

I will admit that when you are a freshman it is nice to be able to just walk downstairs and have all that food at your disposal, and not to mention, it can be a good remedy for a Sunday hangover. However, you have to be really hung-over to suck down lemon eggs.

According to senior Max Benjamin, a frequent off-campus eater and wing connoisseur, “the only place worth eating on campus is the Mel Express.” Ironically, he was eating a wrap from the Pit while he spoke.

The Mel Express is another good lunch joint for the high powered student-on-the-go who is scared of sitting at tables with more than five people.

This brings us to the coffee shops. Since Hillside has only been around since 2003, it has a much younger following. I literally feel old when I walk in there on a given night. These are kids who don’t even remember what blocks are.

The Common Ground Caf attracts a more eclectic, alternative hippy crowd with its jamming music and cool but friendly employees. However, there is going to be a Hershey’s ice-cream parlor built in Hillside, and as we all know, ice cream beats out music any day.

I suppose you should not judge a person by what they eat, but I am a judger.

My suggestion is to go off-campus whenever you can. If you do eat on campus, make a conscious choice and commit to it. And if anyone knows anything about Marcel Proust, please tell me.

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