With a campus population of over 50,000 students, lunch hours on any given day are busy for everyone involved: Students, restaurant employees and cooking appliances work together to ensure a smooth experience. Lines in the Student Activity Center and Union seem to go on forever, businesses on the Drag fill with students hurrying to get a decent lunch before their next class, and students search for a microwave to heat up food from home. This last route probably ends in disappointment and involves waiting in a long line or searching for a microwave in the nooks and crannies of academic halls. Microwaves on campus should be in places that can be seen by everyone, and there should be enough so students do not need to wait 30 minutes to heat up their food.
One major problem with the microwaves on campus is their location. While many students flock to food centers on campus like the SAC and Union for lunch, microwaves in these buildings are nearly non-existent. The Union has one microwave located on the second floor, and fast food restaurants surround students on their left and right. The majority of microwaves are tucked away in science buildings like Welch and the Robert Lee Moore Hall. If an individual does not have a reason to walk into these buildings, they don’t even know that these microwaves exist.
Giving individuals the opportunity to bring their own food from home and heat it up at school saves them money and allows them to make healthier food choices than fast food on campus like Chick-fil-A and Wendy’s. Instead of spending at least $5 a day on lunch or $25 dollars a week minimum, a student could spend $60 a week in enough groceries to prepare three meals a day and have the opportunity to make creative lunches without breaking the bank.
This only works if students have microwaves that are readily available for use. No one wants to wait in line for 20 minutes or more to heat up their food for a minute or two, especially when they have a class coming up in the next hour. It’s just not time efficient. Neither is wandering around campus trying to find a microwave that may end up being in a building nowhere near their next class. With all these obstacles, it seems a lot easier to just go to the SAC and buy a chicken sandwich.
While many students discuss grievances about the lack of microwaves, no one takes action to lessen their daily struggle with the issue. James Buckley, director of Facilities and Operations of the University Unions, overlooks the Union and SAC and said that if students want more microwaves on campus, it would be as simple as writing a request. The University has no written rules or policies standing in the way of more microwaves.
“If we felt there was a definite need and service, it would be open for consideration,” Buckley said. “It hasn’t been brought to our attention that there was a need.”
With their inconvenient location and long wait times, the microwaves on campus do not serve the student body the way they should. If there were multiple located in buildings like the SAC and Union where everyone could see them, students could be encouraged to bring their own lunch, possibly saving them money and extra calories. It’s students who are most inconvenienced by the lack of microwaves on campus, so it’s their responsibility to be vocal about it in order to make their lunchtime run smoother.
Sanchez is a journalism freshman from Round Rock.