VIEW: Wilkerson Commons

By Nick Sallen

Wilkerson Commons is officially open.

This past Wednesday marked the first night that Wilkerson will be serving late night until 11p.m. Those who live in the Wilkerson Complex should be rejoicing. They will no longer have to walk outside in the cold to get a flimsy box of food and a cup of juice, half of which will freeze halfway down their hand as they catch themselves on the ice.

Wilkerson will be swirling with energy as students start reusing the building. As a junior, I remember what Wilkerson used to look like. And I’m happy that they renovated. Hopefully, they “lost” the creepily framed photos of those who used to be a big part of UND.

The addition that I am most excited for is the expanded kitchen and dining center.

As a previous employee of Dining Services, I am happy to see the old cooking appliances renovated. Some stoves really needed to go.

Not only will the students benefit from the improvements, the workers will as well.

My first day working a Squires I was taught how to make pizzas. After a couple of weeks struggling with burnt frisbees, I was able to make my first golden brown pepperoni. Unfortunately, I am no longer making pizzas, so I can’t try out the new equipment.

There’s no doubt I will miss the pizza oven. But what I won’t miss are the working conditions.

Working for Dining Services is a convenient, flexible opportunity for those who live on campus and/ or need to do work-study. When I first started, my coworkers were a blast. As the months went on and finals approached, all of the cool people I shared my favorite moments with left.

It didn’t take long for me to see things that I disliked about working at Squires. Most of the problems could have been solved if more students were working.

By the end of the year, Squires was severely understaffed. For a couple weeks, it got bad enough that paper plates and utensils had to be used for dinner.

Student supervisors were running around bug-eyed with stress. Workers lacked the drive to do a good job. The students, however, suffered the most. Paying $2,183 a semester for lackluster food served on eco-friendly paper plates is borderline abuse.

There was a clear lack of student employees working in Dining Services last year. It seems very few people actually want to work for Dining Services.

Maybe the renovation will bring more students to work for Wilkerson. At the very least, I’ll be excited to see the new dishes.