To-go boxes in Goudy: The principles of sustainability and respect
With the changing of the seasons, sickness runs rampant. With busy schedules and pressing deadlines, students find their daily lives packed to the brim from the moment they wake up to the satisfactory shutting of their dorm doors at night. Throughout the chaos, students are concerned about getting in three meals a day; some skip lunch because they simply do not have the time to sit and eat, and some are so sick they can’t leave their dorms to get dinner.
This has caused outward frustration among students of various years. The logical solution to these problems are Goudy administered to-go boxes. With access to a to-go box, students would be able to ease their worries surrounding food and time. Many students have voiced how having a to-go box would significantly improve their daily meal planning, and how not having access to food on the go has hindered their busy and stressful school days. “It sucks. Sometimes I don’t have time for my meals, or like, I’ll have to go somewhere,” said Rory Harvey (‘27). “I feel like it would be helpful to students who either don’t have the time to sit down or don’t have the energy to sit down and socialize with people and eat their food.”
Though it is common for students to eat by themselves in Goudy, being in a crowded place can be overwhelming after a long day. Mackenzie Lorenz (‘26) shared a similar sentiment. “For me, I usually eat at Goudy all the time, but I know especially some people who don’t like crowded areas prefer to eat outside or people who are sick prefer to eat in their rooms, so it’s more helpful in those scenarios.”
A common concern among students is providing for their sick roommate; many people are getting sick with the “WU Flu” and finding it hard to get out of bed and make the trek to Goudy to eat. Nicole Arreola-Canonica, assistant general manager at Goudy, stated that the roommate or a friend of a sick student can present the sick student’s ID and explain that that person is sick, and Goudy will provide and fill a to-go box free of charge. “Many students either don’t know about it or are afraid we will say no,” said Arreola-Canonica, “but we are happy to accommodate for those who are sick and can’t leave their dorm.”
A common concern among all the interviewees was the waste that could come with the reinstatement of to-go boxes. During the pandemic, Goudy only offered to-go boxes to prevent the spreading of COVID-19. However, during that period, students would take advantage of the free to-go boxes, causing excessive waste. Arreola-Canonica commented on this, stating, “Some people were taking advantage of it; they would take three to four to-go boxes and then sit down here and have a meal.” Though it wasn’t every student, the handful of students who did take advantage of the to-go box system caused problems for the Goudy staff. “We had to take into account food cost, as well as paper cost, and it all really added up.”
As of Monday, Oct. 9th, Goudy implemented reusable to-go boxes that can be purchased for $8 at the cashier. “Bon Appetit standards, we like reusable products. We like sustainability. And so that’s where these reusable to-go boxes come in.” Arreola-Canonica also commented on cost control, saying, “It might not seem a lot when we only have, like, one or two people taking advantage, but when it’s closer to 20 people taking four to five to-go boxes at a time, the cost really adds up.”
Respect and trust are very important parts of the to-go box system. With the privilege of having food to-go, one must respect the institution that is providing that service, which includes taking only what is needed, being honest about your portions and not ruining it for other students by taking more than is necessary. “It may not seem like a lot when only one or two people are doing it, but when it’s a big amount, you know, food cost really does rise,” commented Arreola-Canonica.
Ultimately, the primary reason Goudy got rid of their to-go service was because of members of the community who were disrespectful of the service that they were provided and thus ruined a convenience that many students wish they currently had.
Another concern around Goudy is the issue of silverware and dining utensils going missing. When asked about the possible correlations between the lack of to-go boxes and the stolen utensils, Arreola-Canonica stated that she believes that there is no link between the two. “The reason we know that is because it’s been a continuous thing. You know, we’ve had to-go boxes, we’ve had issues with utensils, we haven’t had to-go boxes and we’ve had issues with utensils. So we know they’re not tied together.”
The current leading concerns around to-go boxes are sustainability and cost. The reusable to-go boxes provided by Goudy are a good solution for students who find themselves frequently busy, while also being a way to encourage students to engage with Bon Appetit standards and actively participate in reducing the waste produced by eating on the go. Purchasing the reusable to-go boxes is a great way to engage with Goudy and support the staff.
Also, as mentioned earlier, students can bring a sick roommate’s ID card and receive a one time use to-go box to bring to their roommate, without additional cost. Enjoy some lovely fall comfort food as midterms roll by, and stay healthy! Community is built on trust; use those to-go boxes wisely and wear a mask when sick. Happy fall Bearcats!