Saybrook stops sorting dirty dishes

In the latest show of dissent against Yale Dining’s new dish sorting system, the Saybrook dining hall returned to the previous tray stacking method Saturday.

Yale Dining initially asked students to sorttheir dirty dishes into different bins at the beginning of this semester to reduce clutter and eliminate the need for trays, Director of Residential College Dining Regenia Phillips told the News in early October. But Paul Hudak, master of Saybrook College, said the sorting system increased traffic and inefficiency while prompting complaints from students.

Several other college dining halls, such as Jonathan Edwards and Silliman, are also not using the sorting system.

“I think that the system might work well in some colleges, but it was just not working in Saybrook,” Hudak said, adding that the dining hall will still utilize environmentally friendly practices such as composting food and encouraging students to dine without trays.

The sorting system had become a major problem for diners, he said, because of the increased time it took to scrape food into the trash and then move to the sorting bins. This traffic in the clearing area caused students to drop more food onto the floor, which resulted in more work for staff.

But five students and two dining hall workers interviewed in Saybrook had mixed reactions about the move back to the tray stacking system. Juanita Lewis, a dining hall staff member in Saybrook, said that she has not noticed a reduction in traffic since Saturday’s change, and she said the tray stacking system makes the jobs of dishwashers more difficult.

“I think it’s a bad idea because it’s more work for the dish room people to do as far as separating,” she said. “With the old system, they could get the clean silverware and plates up here on time to replenish the stock.”

Dining hall staff member Calvin Willoughby added that the tray stacking system presents particular challenges on busy days.

Chelsey Dunham ’14 said she was happy to return to the traystacking method because it facilities an easier and quicker cleanup process, and Elizabeth Quander ’15 said before the policy was reversed, she often saw students dropping food, plates and silverware.

But Lynne Chapman ’14 said she did not mind scraping her plate if it would reduce the work of the dining hall staff.

“If it takes me a minute to do something that would take someone else much longer, I don’t mind,” she said.

Students can provide feedback to Yale Dining on the Yale Dining website or on comment cards in the dining halls.


  • The Anti-Yale

    Egalitarian guilt? Look—it’s OK for people to do dirty work when they are paid reasonable wages and accept the job with their eyes open. Sleep well Saybrook.

  • Yalienz

    Berkeley started doing this about 2 weeks ago!

  • bytheway248

    what do meal plans cost? about **$12 per meal?* I second the ‘sleep well’ post

  • Boogs

    I suspect that some pompous ass’s pompous-ass parents had a fit over Parents’ Weekend upon learning that their young master or mistress was having to do this type “work” at meal time. That’s probably what did it in.

  • smartypants79

    While i don’t think it’s a big deal for students to have to scrape off their plates and separate them, i don’t really get why it should be a priority to save time for the dishwashing staff. It is their job to wash the dishes. Why not let them actually do their job? And this doesn’t mean “create a big mess and leave it for someone else to deal with.” This just means, put thing dishes where they belong and let people who are paid specifically to deal with the dishes deal w. the dishes.

    Would you go to a restaurant and bus your table? or would you let the busboy do it? You’d let the busboy do it because it’s his job. If you did, you would take away the need for his job, and you’d have one more unemployed person.

  • bytheway248


    We pay them hard-earned money. Many of us have jobs and/or we’ll be in debt for years to pay for college. The price of dh service is truly exorbiant. If staffers are not going to do the job that we all thought we were paying for, they should return some of that money or lower the price of dh service.

    But if they take our money, they should do the job.

    I feel like we’re stepping around a big issue. While there are many fantastic dh workers who are fully devoted to their work, others have no problem carrying cell phone conversations (often profanely) while doing their job. Can they really be so overburdened?