Students who want to sneak food out of the newly renovated Marketplace are having a tougher time.
Marketplace has undergone a number of changes since its summer renovation, including the recent removal of to-go cups, which many students have attributed to an increase in theft of Marketplace food. Despite student opinions, Marketplace worker Sharron Bradshaw said the removal of to-go cups was not a direct response to freshman stealing food out of the dining hall. Rather, the main reasons were to make Marketplace feel like more of an “in-house” eatery and to become more eco-friendly, she said.
"[Stealing] is not even an issue right now,” Bradshaw said. “The only thing [management] wants to-go is Trinity Cafe and maybe lunch. As far as breakfast and dinner, they feel that everything should be in-house.”
Some students noted that the removal of to-go cups is inconvenient for students who are in a hurry.
“Students should be allowed to take food out of Marketplace if they’re on the run, as long as it isn’t an obscene amount,” said freshman Nicholas Henlon. “To be honest, the stuff people take isn’t that much, and students are already paying enough.”
Sophomore Feruth Kidane said last year she would grab food and go in order to get to her early classes on time.
“What I stole was the chocolate muffins because I didn’t really have a chance to eat, and I always had 8:30 classes on West,” Kidane said. “I thought, ‘I don’t eat here. I don’t use my money’s worth anyway, so it should be okay.’”
Another change that was made with the goals of improving the in-house experience and becoming more eco-friendly was to the type of dishware used in the dining hall—this year, plastic dishes have been replaced with china.
“This change in dishware from plastic to china is to provide a much better restaurant-quality dining experience, and to meet our sustainable initiatives to use reusable wares in the all-you-care-to-eat dining periods,” said Director of Dining Services Robert Coffey. “Using real china versus plastic allows us to chill salad plates and warm plates for hot food to again provide a better dining experience.”
In the past, Marketplace offered a cheap to-go breakfast at Trinity Cafe for students who did not have time to sit down at the buffet. Students were also provided with a take-out container if they told Marketplace staff that they were taking meals to-go. The removal of to-go cups and take-out boxes—which have not been used in several years—makes Marketplace more inconvenient than it already was, explained Gene Eng, Trinity ‘12.
“West Campus eateries were preferable for me both for the increased options as well as the convenience of being close to classes,” Eng said. “I went to Marketplace mostly for dinner and weekend brunch.”
He added that Marketplace did provide a “good location for freshman-only socialization, which made it easier for [him] to assimilate into college-life.” He also praised the brunch options, which he found better and cheaper than the counterpart options on West Campus.
Students lauded the sustainability initiatives and Marketplace redesign, particularly its spaciousness and new design features—including the addition of a wall of green plants in the dining hall. Nonetheless, some noted that removing to-go cups will not prevent students from continuing to take food out of Marketplace.
“Last year, many of our grade used tupperware, but few would use the cups,” Kidane said.
Alex Griffith contributed reporting.