Letter to the editor: Nixing dorm kitchens bad idea

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    The decision to eliminate dorm-room kitchens is wrong for many reasons.

    It tells students living in the dorms that they’re something other than the adults they are, and it will lead to a culture of irresponsibility among first- and second-year students living on campus.

    Secondly, this decision takes away from students all their personal responsibility over their own nutrition and places that responsibility instead in the hands of TCU.

    The recent announcement by the university to change meal plans to an all-you-can-eat per sitting format stands opposed to the student’s responsibility.

    It’s a matter of proper nutritional choice by students versus the quality of nutrition TCU is willing to provide to the students. Here it seems TCU is more willing to substitute the issue of quality of nutrition for that of quantity.

    Who wouldn’t like a little more at a restaurant or even at home? It’s a temptation, I say, which is far too dangerous to offer every first- and second-year student living on campus, especially so when it’s offered more than once a day. The university will promote a culture of poor nutritional choice when the effects of both these decisions collide.

    We should not deny incoming freshmen and returning sophomores the essential life-lessons of proper nutritional choice, let alone financial responsibility, by presenting them with a luxury of dining out and the added luxury of gorging themselves. What is best is that young people learn the difference between the value of dining out, as a luxury, and the value of eating in, as a matter of saving money or as a matter of nutritional choice.

    What will this do to the university’s efforts to promote diversity in future enrollments? By forcing those students to purchase expensive meal plans while also taking away from them the ability to forgo those expenses by removing their kitchen facilities is not fair. Like anything that is unfair, it’s only unfair unless you can afford it. Deciding to remove kitchens from dorm rooms will cost this campus in terms of good students coming from lower-earning households who can’t necessarily afford the extra luxury of dining out three times a day. This decision will decrease diversity in our future enrollments.

    There are many reasons why this decision by Residential Services should be reconsidered. There are many reasons why personal responsibility trumps the reasons that govern. The reasons I’ve told you are just the lesser among the few, but look at how they’ve been cloaked by promises of luxury and the diminishment of their characters as that of children and not adults.

    Daniel Thom is a junior sociology major from Arlington.