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Defending myself in a hairy situation

I bet you didn't know that the cafeteria has "everything" bagels that have such an extensive array of ingredients they could out-do any bagel shop. Unfortunately these bagels actually have everything: including balls of human hair.

Last year as a resident on campus I paid my dues at the caf, eating there basically twice a day every day. However this year I have recently graduated to a commut- er meal plan and only go to the caf about three times a week.

It was last Wednesday that pushed me mentally past being "creeped out" by the cafeteria and more into the category of "utterly disgusted."

I decided to grab a bagel and have a quick breakfast while skimming over my Physics homework in a booth, so I put my books down and made a beeline for the plexi-glass bagel case.

As most people do, I took a pair of tongs to sift through the options for the meatiest, biggest bagel I could find. Through the contenders, I saw something... odd.

It was a bagel with a swirl of gray-ish-brown fuzz in a cluster on one side, where there should have been only poppy seeds.

It was this utter disgust, and the understanding of what it's like to rely on a meal plan, that prompted me to confront a GDS worker and say, "Excuse me, what do you think is on this bagel?"

I pay for the cafeteria, I eat the food, it's practical and convenient, and it really isn't awful. So, if I see something as disturbing as a poppy seed hairball bagel, I have to say something because I have the right to safe food.

My morning of physics homework and breakfast baked goods then turned into a back-and-forth between a GDS worker, the manager, and a call to the regional company which eventually resulted in my pick of anything in Pirate Express for free.

Although I felt like one of those people on '90s TV shows who got to run through the grocery store with an empty cart for two minutes and get anything they wanted, I also felt like GDS did take into consideration my complaint and maybe the caf might not be so creepy anymore.

My point is, we always complain, but when I spoke up about something I believed strongly in, which is food, I feel as if I might have made a difference.

The world around us can be exactly how we want and deserve it to be, as long as we stand up for what we believe is right and try to change the things that we have control over.

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Mary Marshall is a sophomore journalism major from Darien, Ill. She can be reached at


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