Stav’s new cereal dispensers: swing and a miss

The latest conversations about Stav Hall are over the new cereal dispensers. Students were impressed by the shiny, sleek design when the dispensers debuted. However, while they are aesthetically pleasing, these new dispensers lack basic functionality.

Cereals such as Sweetened Wheatfuls and Cinnamon Toasters barely fit through the dispenser’s opening slot. Because of this, consumers often find themselves unable to fill their bowls due to the design of the new dispensers. Thus, hungry students resort to shaking the dispensers, or — if they are bold enough — removing the lid and flipping it over to obtain the cereal.

Additionally, the opening is very close to the table, leaving little space between the bowls and the dispensers. This makes it difficult to see how much cereal is in your bowl. The new design also shoots cereal directly into your bowl at a much faster speed than the old dispensers. While this may seem more efficient, it often causes students to overfill their bowl resulting in larger messes and more food waste. While the old dispensers required a few cranks, students could easily figure out how much cereal they wanted in their bowl.

The closer proximity of the dispensers makes it more difficult for people to fill their bowls at the same time, creating clusters of students in the cereal area. 

Furthermore, it becomes awkward when it is your turn to get cereal and you realize that your favorite cereal is jammed in the dispenser and is not coming out.

One benefit of the new dispensers is the additional slot, allowing more flavors to be dispensed at once. We have also seen new flavors — including the student favorite Fruit Loops. Despite this advantage, the change in cereal flavors could have existed without the change in dispensers.

Stav’s new cereal dispensers may not be as good as the old ones, but they represent how functionality can easily be changed in the dining hall. It is good that management is trying something new, and they should continue experimenting with the functionality of the serving area. Stav Hall will benefit from changes. Even if they temporarily create frustration, they will create progress toward a more practical dining experience. 

 

franci3@stolaf.edu

Ainsley Francis is from

Charlotte, N.C.

Her major is English.

 

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