By Ashley Oliver
In response to complaints from irate students over the lack of functional microwaves in the cafeteria, York College’s administration purchased brand new commercial grade microwaves.
Last month, the college’s cafeteria only had one functional microwave. The other microwaves were unsanitary and broken, with signs directing students to use the only other functional microwave in the Student Government Association (SGA) office 1G04b.
But earlier this month, college officials purchased six microwave ovens at the college’s expense. Aladdin’s cafeteria employees have agreed to assign an employee to clean the microwaves at least once a day. Officials also promised to provide a paper towel dispenser and a recycling bin.
“Our students are our first priority,” said York’s Associate Dean of Student Development Vincent Banrey. “It isn’t fair that students did not have access to enough clean, working microwaves. So this is the least we can do.”
According to York’s Executive Director for Facilities & Planning, James Minto, Buildings and Grounds is not responsible for maintenance of appliances outside of the cafeteria. But SGA President Rachelle Antoine said student government will try to collaborate with the janitorial staff to help keep the machines clean.
“SGA members will still continue to clean the microwaves, but I think the janitors should help, too,” she said. “It’s one school, so we should work together. But I think it’s a good initiative and I applaud the administration for taking the lead on this matter.”
Although faculty are also asked to clean the microwaves after using them, Antoine said students also need to clean all facilities after using them.
“The least people can do is clean after themselves,” said Antoine. “That’s how any machine gets that dirty. Yes, we are cleaning it, but there’s only so much cleaning we can do. It’s for students, so students should treat the appliances with respect.”
Junior Business Major Teje Pierre said that the new microwaves will significantly reduce his expenses.
“Food is not cheap,” said Pierre. “I buy food everyday and it really adds up. Money doesn’t grow on trees, but the only way I’m going to pass my classes is if I eat. But I’d still rather go broke than eat cold food, or put my good food from home in a dirty microwave.”
Senior Communications Technology Major Shatera McCallum, however said filth is a prevailing problem in York.
“Microwaves are the least of a lot of people’s problems,” said McCallum. “It’s the rats, it’s the bathrooms, it’s the floors. How am I supposed to believe that they’re going to upkeep the microwaves if they can’t even clean the bathrooms?”
She also said she believes administrators should be more candid about assessing the overall cleanliness on campus.
“I respect them for trying, but talk is cheap,” she said. “I will applaud the administration for up-keeping the school only when I see it with my own eyes.”