Rants and Raves: “Scrape Your F — king Plates”

Contributing Writer Priscilla Lee ’25 discusses her friend’s negative experiences working with Val due to people’s lack of communal responsibility for the space.

We all love to complain about Val, but we seem to often forget that Val probably has much to complain about us. Only, they don’t get to make funny Instagram posts about our entitled, thoughtless, and sometimes disgusting behavior. So, in a feeble attempt to correct the imbalance, I hereby submit a summary of complaints that I’ve heard from a friend who works in the dish room.

We begin with the basics: scrape the food off your plates before putting it on the conveyor belt. When dishes enter the dish room, the staff spray off the remaining food before putting them in the dishwasher. Breadcrumbs, grains of rice, sauce, and the like can be easily sprayed off. But a plateful of half-chewed food? That’s just inconsiderate. It holds up the process and slows everything down. Val has already set you up for success: the compost bin is right there, on your way out. Dump out your food. It’s not that hard.

Scrape your food especially well if we’re using the reusable green containers. They only get brought back to Val every couple of days. The food rots. You’ve definitely already noticed that they make the dorm entryways stink; imagine how much worse it smells when the containers are opened in the dish room. So please take care to dump all the food out of the container. Better yet, bring the containers back to Val earlier so they don’t sit for ages before being washed.

Then there are the people who don’t even bother bringing back their dishes and cups, leaving them on tables and or on the floor. Sometimes Val staff find them underneath the orange couches or between the booth and the wall. Is this chronic negligence or a practical joke? Are people actively trying to set up a treasure hunt for Val staff? Is it possible to drop a whole plate onto the floor mid-meal without noticing? In Russ especially, there are always stacks of cups left on the table. Don’t be lazy. Do the bare minimum.

Another thing: the stir-fry station is terrible to clean, especially since people keep burning their food. Reflect on the following questions: Is your food smoking? Do you burn your food every time you use the stir-fry station? Are you bad at cooking?

Lastly: Val closes at 9 p.m. Leave at 9 p.m. The staff have things to do.