Constructively criticize Biola’s Caf

Though easy to complain about the campus eateries, students must avoid unhelpful cynicism.


Anna Warner/THE CHIMES

Tim Seeberger, Writer

Biola’s meal system tends to start negative conversations on campus. It is easy to complain about something embedded into our everyday lives. Every student living on campus must purchase at least a 10 meal per week plan. But is complaining about the system really worth the breath? I, for one, do not think so. Constructive criticism offers a far better option. The issue over the ever-constant complaints about Biola’s meal system comes from a deeper problem — cynicism.


To many Biolans, the Caf remains a work in progress. People constantly complain saying “The Caf wasn’t good today,” or how the meal exchanges do not equate a full meal. In some cases, the students are right. Two corn dogs, an apple, and a soft drink from Eagle’s Nest for a meal exchange does not exactly sound like the best option if you want to have a meal that is both healthy and substantial. Also, students often walk into the Caf, approach each station, and find nothing good to eat. These circumstances often equate to more bad days than good at the Caf, which sours the opinions of many Biolans. Thus, It becomes easy to complain about an issue that everybody faces.


The matter of contention here is what is fueling the complaints of students. The Caf and the meal system generally becomes the butt-end of the joke. As much as Biolans love to complain, it creates a mindset of cynicism. The more we complain, the more our perspective on the Caf changes. Negativity changes the remark “The Caf is good today” to “The Caf is ‘actually’ good today.” Although subtle, it ingrains in us the impression that what we pay annually will never live up to the expectations our complaints set.

There remains redemption for this problem though. Biola is self-aware of the problems students complain about and is actively changing with the times. Senior director of auxiliary services Don Simms is aware of students’ discontent and says they always try to improve the Caf.

“We try to look at what students are doing,” Simms said. “Each year through our surveys we try to get feedback from students. We also work with parents. There’s a parent counsel and we get input from them as to what they think would be good from a parent’s perspective and we try to make those adjustments.”


The thing we as Biolans need to learn is to criticize with the intent of building up. We cannot constantly beat a dead horse by complaining about a system we do not like, yet not offer any meaningful insights and suggestions on how to fix problems. Our complaints must have the intent to find solutions, not serve as a punchline. So take those Caf surveys seriously next time around, even if they only offer chocolate mints as incentive to take it.

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