If anyone has been in the commuter cafeteria around lunchtime, between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., you have seen just how crowded this space can get. The lines at Nathan's, the pizzeria and Leaf & Grains are extremely long. Even the line for Pirate Express extends around the coffee machines to the refrigerators. The time to get a meal can take what feels like forever. Then after retrieving your meal the effort is still not over; you have to search or almost stalk someone who is leaving to find a table.
The commuter caf is no longer just a place to eat, chat with friends and pass the time between classes. It has now become a battleground where the victorious are those who understand the field in which they play. Students who are successful are those that either plant their belongings down before heading to a line or have a friend save a table for them.
While we wish that the commuter cafeteria could be enlarged and more tables and chairs could be added to accommodate more students and staff, it has not happened yet.
So for right now, all we can do is be courteous and kind to our fellow Pirates. Especially when the cafeteria is crowded, get up when you are finished so that others can have a seat or invite others to sit with you. It may seem awkward at first, but it is a great way to meet people that you would normally never interact with.
Find alternatives, especially now. Take advantage of the nice weather before the frigid winter starts. Have a nice meal outside on the Green with friends, or take a seat in the living room and watch TV or enjoy a game of pool while eating. Be creative and find fun places to have lunch with friends.