Long food lines disrupt students’ schedules


By Brandon Cummings and Daniel Tapia, September 20, 2022

With the return of face-to-face teaching bringing more people to campuses, students are standing in long lines trying to eat something between classes, causing some students to go hungry or be late for class.

Because each student has unique schedules, times like “U-Hour” when there are no classes give students an opportunity to consume. However, some students skip lunch because the lines can get very long during lunchtime.

“The long food lines made it very difficult for me to eat lunch at each location between classes,” said Quinn Gilbert, a physics student. “Everything from Market Square to the Bronco Student Center is usually long.”

Currently, Cal Poly Pomona offers almost 20 different restaurants ranging from eatery to Starbucks and pick up items from one of the markets to take away.

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Some students try to avoid these long lines by ordering through Grub Hub. However, these mobile orders slow down the process not only for the students in line, but also for the staff preparing the food.

Sergio Milian, a computer science student and off-campus collaborator, thinks mobile food-ordering apps are making the problem worse.

“I work in fast food, so I know these mobile services are just slowing everything else down. Not only can these workers worry about the people in line, we also have to worry about the online orders, which in most cases are never picked up,” Milian said. “I would say not to allow the mobile orders because it just makes things more difficult. Wait times for these orders can be up to an hour as restaurants can have too many orders before they start ordering online.”

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Brandon Cummings | The Polypost

Whether a student is standing in line or ordering online, there doesn’t seem to be any benefit to getting food a fair share of the time. This leaves some students with no choice but to buy packaged foods at the campus markets.

“The options that we have always come with long lines. I’m sure I’ve spent over thirty minutes on some of these lines before,” said Nijee Ferguson, a kinesiology student. “So, to be honest, I just avoid the lines and see what the markets on campus have to offer. Even then, sometimes the food there is gone, so I usually go back to class with some snacks and a Gatorade.”

The options available on campus aren’t enough to satisfy the students who want to eat between classes. No matter when or how they order their food, the constant trend of long lines is still a campus problem for students. In some cases, students risk losing their parking spot just so they can find off-campus food.

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“I commute to school and we know how frustrating parking can be. I never want to leave school just for food if I don’t have to,” said Nnamdi Uzor, a nutrition major. “It’s sad enough to come to school hoping there’s enough parking, but risking losing my spot just to get food when I don’t really need it is just another layer of frustration. “

For recommendations to Foundation Dining Services to improve their Dining Services, please visit the Feedback Forum on the Foundation Dining Services website. You will also find all the options CPP has to offer and their operating times.

Cover image courtesy of Brandon Cummings



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