Parents and Prime Rib: The Problems at Brunch

Erin Ennis

Sunday morning I woke up late (a HUGE change for me) and struggled to get ready for brunch at noon. I had work for The Charger Bulletin at 2 and I really needed something big for breakfast. Now, I am normally a big fan of brunch on campus: the food is never as bad as during the week, it’s never crowded, and I have a pretty nice selection…so why should I have expected something different?

Erin Ennis, Assistant Editor

I walked downstairs on Sunday to find the entirety of Bartels swarming with parents. I had completely forgotten about the freshmen early registration event and grimaced at the sheer crowd of people. After some pushing and careful stepping, I went to sit on the left side of the cafeteria…only to get yelled at. “That side is only for parents,” I was told.  Funny…every seat was empty.

So I went and got my breakfast. The lines were incredibly long, but the food was way above par. There was a full sandwich bar, plenty of hot eggs and pancakes, and prime rib. That’s right, prime rib. I didn’t have to ask a single employee for cream cheese (my usual Sunday morning question) and there was plenty of fresh fruit and yogurt. Employees were outstandingly polite and there were tons of them working…the usually sparse Sunday staff were nowhere to be found. When I went to sit down in the section I had been told to sit in, I noticed I was surrounded by parents: they didn’t get the “side of the cafeteria” memo. Not only was I being told where to sit, I was being squished because parents weren’t being told where to sit. I grumbled through my unusually appetizing food and ran as quickly as possible.

Now, I don’t really have a problem with the fact that parents invaded my normally calm Sunday morning brunch. I completely understand that parents need to be fed, particularly when their children are knee deep in registration and freshmen woes. However, the entire ordeal was horribly run and those of us who are usual attendees of brunch were pushed to the side (yet again, it seems) for new students and their parents.

Frankly, even as a senior, I’m sick and tired of seeing “prospective students and parents” treated better than the students already here. I’ve never had prime rib on a Sunday before, let alone a piping hot breakfast. I’ve never been told that I “have” to sit somewhere so parents can sit in the better section…and then been pushed and squeezed into seats because the people in question aren’t even informed. Ignoring a few select employees (Willie, for example) I have never been treated with an enthusiastic “good afternoon” when I entered the cafeteria. It seems as if the cafeteria only wants to make itself SEEM better than it normally is, plastering this gigantic façade over the face of Bartels and our campus dining. Instead, maybe the focus should be put back on the students that are already here and that already love campus. We can be the voice to the students.

I want my non-super-showy brunch back. Besides, if a parent decides to keep their child from the University of New Haven over cold pancakes…well…that would be pathetic at best.

College education is about classes and academics, not prime seating. Stop catering to the next generation of UNH students when there is still 2 months left for ours.