Tray or no tray, you still carry responsibility

trayless tuesday

There seems to be a fierce debate on campus about the issue of Trayless Tuesdays. According to a story in the Review, Trayless Tuesdays have not been saving water or power since their implementation (“Trayless Tuesdays fail to save water, power in Dillin,” TLR, March 5).
While I feel the story was well-written and factual, I also feel it may have left students with the wrong impression.
Trayless Tuesdays may not have caused decreased water usage in Dillin Hall, but this does not mean the principle behind the movement is wrong. It’s not complicated. The dishwasher apparently uses 226.8 gallons of water each hour. If there are fewer dishes that need to be washed, then the dishwasher should be used less. Less dishwasher use translates directly to less water use. This is undeniable.
The only reason Trayless Tuesdays have not been effective is because they have caused Dillin staff to work longer cleaning up after messy students, which causes the dishwasher to stay on for a longer period of time.
“Students would, in protest [of Trayless Tuesdays], leave their dishes on the table,” General Manager of Student Dining Services Bill Masullo said in last week’s story. “We ended up staying longer cleaning everything up.”
Quite frankly, I am appalled by this childish behavior. This so-called “protest” only makes it more difficult for Dillin employees to do their jobs. These employees, who work hard enough as it is, are not the instigators of Trayless Tuesdays. If you want to protest the movement, talk to Greenfield. Go to one of its meetings and let the members know what you think. Bring the issue up to your senator. Do not punish the Dillin employees for something they have nothing to do with.
I like to think that we are all adults here, but I guess some of us still have trouble picking up after ourselves.
Also, if you are that upset about not having a tray, just go ask for one. I think it is perfectly fair to say that people sometimes need to have a tray. I have heard that some athletes need a lot of food and may not have time to go back and forth to grab it all. If you need a tray, you can still get one.
Personally, I don’t have a problem with a trayless dinner. I don’t eat a lot of food at dinner, so I rarely use trays then. The same goes for lunch. But for breakfast, I always use a tray since I have more food. At an all-you-care-to-eat meal such as dinner, going back and forth to grab food seems easy to me. At breakfast and lunch, though, going back and forth would also involve waiting in line at the register and paying for food multiple times.
This would be especially bothersome at the busier hours of the day at Dillin. I wouldn’t want to go through all that hassle for one banana. I would just grab a tray.
If all meals at Dillin were buffet-style, as dinner and brunch are, then I think removing trays would be more viable.
However, if students refuse to cooperate with the removal of trays as immaturely as they have in the past, then there is not much that can be done. People can shake their fingers at these students, but, unfortunately, no one has the authority to force them to clean up after themselves.
So, while I think trays should be removed, it seems that perhaps we should pursue other methods of conserving water at Dillin. It may be wise to invest in a more efficient dishwasher, as opposed to the current one that seems to run constantly until turned off, regardless of how many dishes are in it at any given time.
As past events have shown, if Greenfield is going to suggest something such as Trayless Tuesdays, it needs to constantly check in with Dillin to make sure water is being saved. The idea makes sense, but you can’t always foresee setbacks such as messy, protesting students.
While these setbacks may have hampered the efforts of Trayless Tuesdays, the logic is sound. With this in mind, I hope students realize they can help conserve water by not using trays. I hope Greenfield continues to encourage students not to use trays by spreading this logic, even if it does not actually remove trays.
Water is not an unlimited resource. We all know this. People can’t be forced into water conservation, so I can only hope they make the right choices concerning their water usage. Whether students support or oppose Trayless Tuesdays, I hope they don’t start assuming that because the movement hasn’t worked, the logic behind it is flawed. The logic makes sense, so if you’re going to oppose Trayless Tuesdays, please do so in a similarly logical manner befitting of your age.

Braden Smith
Opinion editor Braden Smith can be reached at

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