Students prefer to cook for themselves

by Nicki Vanhoever

Cooking in the residence halls can be a pasttime or even a necessity for some students and a bag of potato chips is no longer the only food item one finds in an average dorm room.

A survey of Barker Hall’s second floor of 50 women showed nearly every room carried these items: Ramen noodles, chips, dip and salsa, pop, milk, cereal and popcorn. Some of the less common items included Jell-O, popsicles, brownies, peaches and Rice-A-Roni.

This floor of Barker is the same one housing the Barker kitchen. The girls living on the floor have been using the kitchen all year for many different things. However, sophomore Ben Low, who is a community advisor, is known to be the most frequent user of the Barker kitchen.

Low also cooks in his room on a daily basis with the help of his microwave. Some of his favorite dishes to make are SpaghettiOs and macaroni and cheese. He also indulges in the gourmet bread that can be found on Wal-Mart’s shelves.

“The bread I buy from Wal-Mart is $1.20 for a loaf, just put butter on it and it’s perfect,” Low said.

Low has also been known to cook up cheese dip, chicken and even deer. However, his favorites are the dishes requiring the least amount of work.

“My favorite thing to cook is anything where I don’t have to wash my own dishes,” Low said.

Junior Jason Parkinson agrees.

“I use paper plates so I don’t have to clean up,” Parkinson said.

Parkinson is living in the basketball house this year, which is equipped with a full kitchen.

According to Parkinson, when it comes to the food they eat and cook, it is not much different from living in the dormitories.

“I eat the same things I did when I was in a dorm,” Parkinson said. “I guess it is just nice to have the option to cook if I wanted to.”

The only thing Parkinson cooks at the house is leftovers, and this happens about two times a month.

“I order a lot of pizza,” Parkinson said.

Students in Buxton Hall are getting more creative in the things they are cooking. Some may even be taking a few risks in their quest for good food.

“We have a Pizzazz and it’s illegal,” sophomore Jacob Gilbert said.

Gilbert does not feel as strongly about the food policies, but is torn on whether or not he likes eating in his room or the cafeterias better.

“It’s a toss up because in my room I can eat better food, but Pfeiffer and the Storm Street Grill are free,” Gilbert said.

Buxton is also equipped with a kitchen, but Gilbert doesn’t use it.

“We never use it; the stove is crappy,” Gilbert said.

One of the less frequent, but delicious dishes that have been cooked up in Gilbert’s room is cream of potato soup.

According to Gilbert, the soup is only for when he’s sick.

“When I have a cold I resort back to my momma’s upbringings and I fix me a good, old-fashioned bowl of soup,” Gilbert said.

Low has a problem with the fact students are forced to have a meal plan even if they are able to cook on their own.

“It sucks that we don’t have a choice,” Low said. “We have to have a meal plan.”

Although he disagrees with the policy, he has some understanding of it.

“As a CA I can understand it because it gets first-year students out of their rooms, but it still makes me mad,” Low said.

Low chooses to eat in his room because he feels the food facilities offered here are not adequate.

“It’s disgusting and unhealthy and makes me sick,” Low said. “[I’m] pretty sure Pfeiffer makes everyone sick.”