Last semester students had to use paper plates and plastic utensils for weeks. After Cheney ditched the paper products, students instead had to scrape their plates into the trash and set put their dishes into plastic containers which would be pulled back by the Cheney employees with brooms. Long story short, Springfield College’s dining hall was in serious need of an upgrade.
Over the summer, Cheney had huge renovations including a new conveyor belt for students to place their dishes, new floors, hand sanitizer dispensers, and a new wall which opened up more space.
“[The new setup is] definitely more efficient for the workers, they have less movement when they are taking their stacks of plates to travel to get into the dishwashing machine,” said Director of Operations Jacking Romito-Carey. “It is also much easier for us to clean.”
Instead of having students walk into the dish drop-off area from both sides, there are now sides to enter and exit. There is also a specific order students must get rid of their dishes. This year students are instructed to first dump their plates, place their utensils in a bucket, dump their drink and then place all dishes or cups on the conveyor belt. Last year, students would just dump their drinks and then place everything on one of the three rotating levels. For some students, the new setup is more of an inconvenience than anything.
“I personally do not think the new Cheney conveyor belt is efficient,” said sophomore Danielle Hoffner. “I don’t think they put it in the right order and a lot of kids like to go against the direction everything’s going, so a lot of times you bump into people and you don’t have enough hands or enough space to clear your dishes while you need to dump your drink. I think it could have been a little more efficient.”
Students were also quick to make jokes last Tuesday when an email was sent out saying that the dish machine was not working. This has been all too frequent of an occurrence, as students have gone in at other times and seen that once again, the conveyor belt isn’t on, or has broken down. However, there is a method behind it.
“The dishwashing machine is shut down three times a day because we want to clean it,” said Romito-Carey. “After each meal service it gets shut down to be cleaned so we are not going into a new meal service. So sometimes you may find plates piling up on the conveyor belt while the dishwasher is shut down.”
While some students think that the new conveyor belt is an inconvenience, most can agree that it is an improvement from last semester’s system. With the dishes no longer being stacked up, the smell that used to linger is no longer there. As the semester goes on, students and employees will learn the new flow of Cheney.