By Isabel Riddick '19
Going to Malott for a meal? More like charging into the Battle of Thermopylae. During rush hour, expect a nearly thirty minute-long wait for food, a lack of free tables and barely being able to navigate the space with the sheer amount of people crammed inside.
Malott is the only dining hall at Scripps. It also happens to be one of the more popular ones amongst 5C students. Like all of the dining halls, it is open for all meals to any 5C student; however, it is simply not constructed to hold that many people. Its hecticness unfortunately makes itself inaccessible to many Scripps students, especially those with disabilities.
For one, it is simply impossible to navigate Malott in a wheelchair; even with crutches, I imagine it would be very difficult; it is hard enough to navigate as an able-bodied person.
Secondly, the clamor and hubbub of so many people make it a very stressful place to be for people with anxiety and panic disorders, agoraphobia or claustrophobia. Even for those without disabilities, the Malott dining experience is hardly enjoyable. On top of this, the dining hall staff have to work nonstop in order to get everyone fed; as someone who has worked in food service, I know that working so fast and so hard is extremely difficult. The business of the staff enables some students (I’ve seen it happen) sneak into the dining hall without swiping their card, stealing from the school as well as from their fellow classmates. Malott’s current system is simply unacceptable, which is why Malott needs to have Scripps-only hours.
There are several steps that could be taken to remedy the current situation. First, Malott could designate certain hours during mealtimes that are Scripps-only (for example, the dining hall closes to non-Scripps students at 6 PM for dinner, 1 for lunch, etc.). Second, Malott could simply close certain meals to non-Scripps students. Having breakfast and dinner be Scripps-only would greatly facilitate those who cannot eat there under the current circumstances. This would guarantee them meals at Malott, obviously with the option of going to another dining hall.
I realize that this would somewhat disrupt the 5C dining hall system, but again, Malott was really never meant to serve the 5Cs.