Coasting into Williamstown after being away for three months, I couldn’t help but feel that the school had thrived while I was absent. My first lunch at Whitmans’, however, made me think twice about these impressions. Many people have noticed that Paresky has gone through an evolution of stinginess starting last spring but reaching maturity over the summer. The basic rules, the “two side” and “two drink” constraints have always been in place, but last year, a little politeness and a big smile could get you an extra helping.
This year the “protein additive” of the salads is subjected to a miniature scale – a scale, mind you, that sits at the salad station. The limit is two ounces. Now, if I ask for more, the reaction is a helpless shrug and a finger pointed at the authoritative measuring device. At my first lunch I was even denied cheese because we’re now limited to one protein. The single loophole to the new system would seem to be the self-service stations, but I’ve been reprimanded more than once for “filling the bowl over the crest.”
I know the administration is just trying to make Whitmans’ cost-conscious, but does a two billion dollar endowment really translate into two ounces of chicken? I’m still high on the new buildings, the fresh faces, and the imminent football victories, but does this mean anything if I can’t even diversify my proteins? Sometimes the little things go a long way in informing one’s perception of an institution. Sometimes they also play a vital purpose in forming the dynamics of an environment, and I for one thought the formerly benevolent Whitmans’ was a great environment.
Mark Prins ’11