New Grill Cam is all sizzle and no steak

New Grill Cam is all sizzle and no steak

by Matt Morain

In the midst of a national economic recession, money is in short supply. Funds for new programs don’t appear out of nothingness, and each frivolously spent dollar is money that could have gone towards a program that needs it.

Simpson College is no different from our national government in that it can’t afford to spend any funds on unnecessary ventures that aren’t benefiting the college as a whole. A prime example can be found in SC’s latest spending folly: the Grill Cam.

For those of you unaware of this recent and innovative-yet impractical-technological achievement, here’s some enlightenment: a Web cam has been set up in the southwest corner of the Storm Street Grill, allowing anyone with Internet access to log on and watch the exciting events that transpire in the confines of the Grill’s dining area.

The only problem with this simple premise is that there are no exciting events that happen in the Grill’s dining area, for the most part. Granted, when CAB sponsors bingo, comedians, or other low-maintenance entertainment, viewers might have something to tune in to.

Still, there’s no audio to accompany these gatherings, and they don’t happen often enough at the Grill to give an accurate depiction of life at Simpson, which is most likely the intent of the administration behind “Project Grill Cam”.

Indeed, perhaps one reason for the establishment of the camera is to give prospective students a glimpse of what their life can be like here on our campus.

“Come to Simpson! Eat the same foods every day and sit in eager anticipation of deciphering your name out of the unintelligible garble that comes out of the loudspeaker! Read your paper while you eat, then get up and leave it at the table! Whee!”

Complaints can be filed and opinions can be voiced about money that should have been spent on something else (larger bandwidth to hasten Internet downloads and overall speed, updating antiquated equipment in the weight room, etc.), but instead of merely criticizing, why not construct suggestions to make this purchase worth something?

After all, it’s not as if we can easily obtain a refund for the whole setup, so we might as well make any improvements we can to get our money’s worth.

I, for one, would like to see additions made to this new exploratory entertainment venture. How about a “Meet Your Fry Cook” section? Who are these fascinating people? Where do they go when they get off of work? These are questions that students desperately want to have answered.

Might we remove it from the Grill and insert it into a classroom a few days a week? I’d tune in for that occasionally. I think it would be exponentially more fascinating than watching people eat.

Perhaps we can make the camera orbital to get a better grasp of the magnitude of the Grill experience. Focus it on the lobby of BSC for special events, or at least change the view every once and awhile.

New and risky ideas don’t always pay off; ask the geniuses behind Crystal Pepsi or the DMC Delorian. As for the Grill Cam: I rate it poor in premise, passable in preparation, yet promising for potential.