Psych and the Good Life? More like Psych and the Fuck Hungry Students Coming from 4 p.m. Lab on Science Hill Life! Sure, that is a pretty wordy title for a lecture. Yet, after preaching love, calmness of mind and the good life for months, Silliman Head of College Laurie Santos announced last week the most ludicrous and plainly odd dining hall restrictions. Oh, and Hopper Head of College Julia Adams quickly followed suit, because she and Laurie are probably BFFs.
They had perfectly decent examples in Berkeley and Morse, where transfers from other colleges can’t eat from the start of dinner until 5:45 and 6:30, respectively. Instead, this new policy restricts transfers from entering Silliman or Hopper between 5:45 to 6:45 p.m. What the fuck? If Silliman or Hopper were at all desirable, people would just start eating there earlier, around, oh, I don’t know, 5:40 p.m.! Is Laurie Santos going to march through the dining hall at 5:45 and force everyone to brandish their IDs?
But it’s okay, say Adams and Santos, attempting to quell our disillusionment: You can bring one out-of-college guest with you! C’mon. Getting one-on-one meals is exclusively for rush meals and the few romantic Yalies who actually make time to get that meal he or she has been promising you for months. And what will happen to those groups of four friends that always get a meal together? They will inevitably have to choose which friends they like more! Shouldn’t such judgements about your closest friends be saved for the annual “I don’t want to live with you” housing conversation?
Furthermore, one cannot overstate the fact that Silliman and Hopper dining halls are comparatively not good. Sure, they aren’t Saybrook or TD. Still, they’re like a hookup with my roommate Logan in that people seldom leave satisfied. Their overcrowding is due to convenience: Hopper stands across from WLH and Bass, where many nighttime sections are held, and Silliman is next to WHC, WLH, SSS and on the direct path back from Science Hill.
Is this not just residential college isolationism? “Given our location, our dining hall’s size, and Silliman’s overall awesomeness, our dining hall gets really busy,” Santos said in an email to Silliman students.
As America has begun its own descent into isolationism, the nation has had mixed opinions. Yet neither Hopper nor Silliman are major fucking world super powers, even within the microcosm that is Yale College. Therefore, they can’t afford to raise dining hall walls in these hungry times. While Berkeley and Morse/Stiles still manage to fill the dining hall despite restrictions due to their fabled pizza ovens and generally delicious food, surely no one can imagine this will happen at either Hopper or Silliman. I predict tumbleweeds will be rolling around Hopper soon enough, and the single, piercing cry of an eagle will echo through Silliman occasionally, although few will be present to hear it.
How will I make friends at other colleges if I can’t awkwardly bump into them at the dining hall enough times to merit an even more awkwardly whispered, “Hi,” which would then merit a proper, “Hello,” which would THEN result in true friendship over time? That’s probably half the reason I’m friends with people in Pierson who don’t live in my entryway. In other words, how will us Yalies defeat our social awkwardness and inability to diversify our friend groups without the help of other dining halls? I’ve already consigned myself to never meeting anyone in Hopper or Silliman ever again.
Is Head of College and popular professor Laurie Santos our knight in shining armor, ameliorating the high stress levels of one-fifth of Yale College, defending us against social media and bringing memes to God’s holy church, i.e. Battell Chapel? Yes. Is she also the reason I have to eat in TD whenever I happen to be on Wall Street between the hours of 5:45 and 6:45? Also yes. And that in and of itself is a self-esteem obliterating banishment which contradicts the very class she teaches. Therefore, rather than remember that she brings life and enjoyment to this campus, I’ll brood about her as I eat an unsatisfying meal of eggplant and acorn squash at TD.
Sure, the News has provided unbiased reporting on this topic, and Katherine Hu ’21 wrote a well-researched, properly thought-out critique of this new policy in a March 1 op-ed. Yet, I will continue to rant without purpose and proclaim that everyone should run to the new colleges, Davenport or Branford — where warm welcomes, good food and lovely ambiance live. And if you want uncrowded dining halls, just go to Pierson or Trumbull.
Update: Pierson has since invested in a guacamole bar. Expect a dining hours restriction by the end of the semester.
Nick Tabio | firstname.lastname@example.org