1. wtf  

    Okay. Fuck public safety. They just tested the alarms in Schapiro at 9:40 in the morning just to see if we would leave our rooms. Acts like these are completely abusive and just make me more contemptuous of housing, and less likely to leave my room in the event of a real emergency.

  2. R Lenz  

    Dear Spectator,

    In his February 12th editorial, "Enviro-Radicalism at Columbia," Jonathan Hollander describes the negative effects of the elimination of trays from John Jay Dining Hall in order to illustrate what he perceives as the short-sightedness of Columbia's environmental initiatives. If Hollander actually patronized John Jay, however, he would be aware of 3 things:

    1.) Hollander cites an increase in "spills and broken dishes" and the consequent "cost of broken dishware" as downsides to the elimination of trays from John Jay. He is of the opinion that such "inconveniences [...] outweigh the environmental benefits," namely, the decrease in water demanded for dish-washing. As a twice-daily patron of John Jay, I have yet to see a spilled plate this semester. If such an incident occurred last semester, it was so rare that I don't remember even one instance of it. As for broken dishware, I can say unequivocally that I have never seen such a thing happen. Even if the odd plate were to break, it would be with such negligible frequency as to have about the same effect on John Jay's finances as a modest abuse of the peppermint bowl.

    2.) Hollander criticizes the Eco-Reps for "enforcing a policy of self-busing" and thereby robbing John Jay diners of the services intrinsic to their meal plans. In the academic year so far, the Eco-Reps have been present a maximum of 5 times, out of more than 200 meals. On each occasion, it has been to collect and weigh the amount of wasted food, and staff were on hand to clear the diners' plates for them.

    3.) Hollander says that, "without trays, students are being forced to make several trips to and from their tables, turning an already crowded place into chaos." In this statement, Hollander implies that, because diners are no longer able to carry multiple plates at once, they must return to the serving area several times to collect their meals. A look at the conveyor belt during a busy meal, however, proves that the elimination of trays has not curbed the egregious amount of wasted food. If diners learn how much food they can reasonably expect to consume during a meal, instead of overestimating, it is quite possible to collect a meal in one trip. Furthermore, while eating in John Jay sometimes necessitates a short wait in line at peak times, the experience can hardly be described as chaotic.

    In his "Reasonably Wrong" editorial, Hollander uses outdated or fabricated evidence to prove a point that is consequently baseless. I hope that the Spectator will hold its columnists to a higher degree of scrutiny in the future.

    Richard Lenz, CC'12

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