LIZARDO: Fight the Durflation!

You’ve stepped into Durfee’s. You’ve seen the prices. And you’ve walked out saddened, annoyed, maybe even depressed.

You became distressed either because you walked out empty-handed after seeing the ridiculous prices of that cheese pizza or peach tea you were craving or because you just gave in to your gluttonous desires and spent your life’s savings to pay those prices.

Being the white cheddar Cheez-It addict that I am, I have directly suffered from these soaring prices. The extra 35 cents for a now smaller box has forced me to walk a few extra blocks to Walgreens, where that box is a whole $2.06 cheaper. Unlike at Durfee’s, the price of that box of Cheez-Its hasn’t changed at Walgreens over the last year. But living on Old Campus last year, I was about four minutes farther from Walgreens and about four minutes closer to Durfee’s, so I didn’t mind settling for Durfee’s high prices.

As someone who likes to sleep in, I used not to worry about missing brunch on the weekends; I could always just use my $7 meal swipe at Durfee’s and enjoy my breakfast at 4:50 p.m. But now that $7 can no longer buy an adequate meal, I cannot hit the snooze button and skip brunch, lest I lose money!

And I, like many students here, have an incredibly poor sleep schedule. I get little sleep as it is, meaning my body loves to torture me during class and let me struggle right as some professor makes eye contact with my shutting eyes. It’s therefore no surprise that I rely heavily on caffeine. But have you tasted the coffee in the dining halls? It’s terrible! And I’m not really that guy who walks around with some pretentious coffee cup from Blue State or Starbucks. (Though I have been guilty of such acts in the past.) So I always counted on that already expensive shot of 5-Hour Energy or that can of Red Bull right before my incredibly dull “Intro Micro” lecture.

While my classes are admittedly better and more interesting this year (just in case any of my current professors are reading this), I still need caffeine. At Durfee’s, a single shot of 5-Hour Energy went from $3 just four months ago to $4.30 today. (For the record, it is still $3 at Walgreens.) And that can of Red Bull? At Durfee’s, it’s a whole dollar more expensive.

Now, I am by no means trying to be a poster child for Walgreens. Nor am I trying to propose that all Yale students buy foreign and bolster Walgreens over Durfee’s. But we already have an expensive place to go when we’re not of sound mind on those Wednesday and Saturday nights: Gourmet Heaven. What we do not need is a more expensive GHeav, which is what Durfee’s is apparently trying to be.

Some of you are already thinking “#firstworldproblems,” and you have a point. But I still do not like getting ripped off.

I would not be complaining so much if the rise in prices were coupled with a raise in the value of my meal swipe. But no, I still have just $7 to try to figure out what to get. If Durfee’s doesn’t lower its prices — and it is very likely that it won’t — then it is time for YCC or Yale Dining or whoever’s in charge to give us at least a dollar or two more on our meal swipes.

As a conservative, I never thought I’d say this, but it is time for some stimulus.

To all you economics majors who would argue that stimulus would only increase the inflation, even if indirectly: Well, this is Durflation. It’s different.

Rich Lizardo is a sophomore in Jonathan Edwards College. Contact him at richard.lizardo@yale.edu.

Comments

  • inycepoo

    Durflation has indeed been getting out of hand over the years. Way to go, Rich.

  • River_Tam

    Yale is not going to subsidize the cost of food at Durfee’s. The price of food is expensive at Durfee’s because Durfee’s workers are paid better than workers at Walgreens.

  • silliwin01

    Absolutely necessary article, though I don’t think it is well served by the whimsical tone. The reality is that student purchasing power (whether with swipes or with points) at Durfees has been steadily eroded each year despite consistently increasing meal plan prices. You don’t need to distract us with humor; your argument is valid and stands on its own merits.

  • JohnnyE

    Yale forces you to pay $10.25 for lunch and then allows you to exchange it for 7 Durfee’s dollars that can really buy $5 worth of stuff, and then it acts like this is some great feature of the dining system. I’d love to hear an administrator try to explain this.