Engineers don't have enough on their plates

I cannot speak for other majors, but I can tell you from experience that engineers have a hard time on campus. It’s not because of the class load, or the homework; it’s because of the cafeteria hours. It’s hard enough keeping your GPA at a decent level, while trying to balance a social life, extracurricular activities, the weekend and sleep. But when an important factor like food is taken out of the daily routine, staying alert and focused in class can be very difficult. A lot of us end up zoning out during class and have to reteach ourselves the material later. This semester I have heard more complaints of hunger, especially from the biomedical engineers, than complaints of doing homework. For all of the BMEs and a lot of the other engineers, there was only one way to arrange classes this year so that all of our required classes fit in the semester. Therefore, we have class on Mondays and Fridays from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and on Wednesdays until 6:00 p.m.; the only break between is the mandatory 10:00 a.m. hour which, of course, is when the cafeteria is switching from breakfast to lunch. Sometimes we get lucky and there is a tidbit of food that has not been removed yet. Usually, though, we have to wait to eat until classes are over at 3:00 p.m. Why don’t you just wake up earlier and eat breakfast? Ah, I’m glad you asked. I’m actually up on those days at 5:30 a.m. for ROTC for physical training. After training, all the cadets go to the cafeteria to eat breakfast. We start our morning with some granola yogurt and, if we are lucky, some fruit. I don’t know about you guys, but after a workout I like something a little more filling than yogurt. Afterwards, I go back to my routine of class all day with that breakfast being my only food. The cafeteria this year has been very disappointing in comparison to previous years. A lot of the food choices just aren’t there anymore – for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Why don’t I go to the UC?  Actually, I have gotten into the habit of just going to the UC and spending my dining dollars. However, I do not have an unlimited amount of dining dollars to spend, and they will soon be gone considering this happens three times a week. I used ROTC because I am a cadet, but I have BME friends that participate in sports. They have morning practices as well. Some have evening practice. This means as soon as their school day is over, they have to head out to practice, once again delaying eating. I have seen some people come to class with a to-go box with food and eat during lecture. I have considered asking someone to run to the cafeteria for me and meet me between classes with a to-go box. It’s not fair to have to ask someone to run food errands for me, especially considering that not everybody has an unlimited meal plan. Some may say that the engineers can’t complain because they are putting too much on their plate. Well, no. Actually, if we had something on our plate, we wouldn’t be complaining.