$70K Is Enough for Rat-Free Dining Halls


WSN Editorial Board

Last week, WSN reported that a presence of rat droppings, filthy flies and hot food held at less than 140 degrees Fahrenheit was discovered at Lipton Dining Hall during a recent health inspection. Although this is undoubtedly not the most serious issue facing campus, it is nevertheless important. With the exception of tuition rates, arguably nothing affects students more — especially underclassmen — than the quality of food served at NYU. Because of this, NYU must take action to fix such a troubling and disgusting situation.

Lipton has earned a more favorable reputation among NYU dining halls in the past. It is close to Elmer Holmes Bobst Library, looks objectively cleaner than nearby dining halls and brands itself as the healthy dining hall. The fact that Lipton received 39 points — a perfect score is zero — during the inspection is eyebrow-raising for many students. If rat droppings and flies are present in the cleanest dining hall here on campus, what might be in the other dining halls with less favorable reputations, such as Third North Courtyard Cafe and Downstein? In fact, many dining halls have struggled to receive favorable ratings in the past, despite how costly NYU dining plans are.

Furthermore, all NYU’s meal plans exceed $1,400 per semester. While the university is located in Manhattan, one of the most expensive locations in the country, NYU’s meal plan is even more costly than those of other New York-based universities. At Columbia University, an upperclassmen meal plan with 175 meals and 200 dining dollars totals $2,163 per term, while NYU’s 175 Flex plan with 300 dining dollars is $2,325 per semester. Barnard’s upperclassmen Platinum Plan with 19 meals per week and 120 meal plan points — a similar system to dining dollars — is only $2,290 per semester, while NYU’s 300 Flex plan with 150 dining dollars is $2,715. With tuition averaging $47,000 per student and meal plans that are equally pricey, it is unacceptable that sanitary guidelines are not being followed thoroughly.

With finals season coming up, students deserve a reliable and clean dining hall that can satisfy and fuel them. Lipton, along with Downstein and Kimmel, is the closest traditional dining hall to Bobst. Students can grab food and head to their study spots without much hassle. Lipton’s poor rating will discourage students from eating there, further limiting the options available for students on campus. While Lipton’s reputation will suffer from these findings, NYU should focus on thoroughly investigating this issue and promptly resolving it. NYU is too expensive to be this dirty.

A version of this appeared in the Monday, Dec. 4 print edition. Email the WSN Editorial Board at [email protected].