I want to preface this post by stating that what follows is entirely a petty problem, but a petty problem that plagues all Vassar students. That problem is the All Campus Dining Center. Affectionately known as the Deece, it is the main location that we rely on to satiate all 2,400 of us on a daily basis. It’s a given that college food is not going to be quite up to par with what we might be used to, but that doesn’t stop us from complaining. We all know how much we enjoy complaining.
After three years here I would say that I pretty much know exactly what to expect from an average day at the good ol’ ACDC. I have learned approximately how long to wait before coming back to get my order at the grill, that I should be aware of the inevitable mushy spots on the majority of the apples, and that it’s pretty unlikely that anyone will notice if you march out carrying two Tupperware containers full of food. However, for any freshmen reading this (I know you’re out there—I have seen you pushing together more tables than the sports teams to make room for your entire fellow group to sit together) that are still relative novices to Vassar dining, you might be interested in reading some of my wisdom.
Sadly, I think that you have missed out on what was probably one of the best parts of the Deece, which was what prompted my thoughts for this blog post in the first place—the legendary Brad’s granola. Whoever this Brad fellow was, he delivered some supremely yummy vegan granola. It was comforting to know that even if there were no more bagels left for breakfast, Brad’s granola would usually be there as an option. Yet this year upon my return from JYA, I realized to my utmost dismay that Brad had been replaced by something termed “ACDC granola.” The severity of this switch increases tenfold when you consider that this granola is nothing like its predecessor. Not only does it not contain any of the dried fruits, seeds, shredded coconut, and other goodies that Brad supplied, but beyond its crumbly excuse for granola all that it is accompanied by is honey, which is bad news for the vegans of this campus. When I told my friend the sad news he replied that “Brad would be granolling over in his grave right now” if he knew about this injustice, and I wholeheartedly agree. All I can hope is that this will not be goodbye forever. I wrote a very concerned comment card on this pressing issue but have not yet received a response, so I’m pretty sure it’s a conspiracy. I’ll report back.
Along with this sad attempt at recreating what simply cannot be recreated, the Deece has some other downfalls. The vegetables are often either drowned in oil or totally bland and tasteless. You will also never see an avocado. If you are pescatarian then I apologize because you will probably be getting nothing at all except for maybe the odd fishstick here or there. The stir-fry station is usually a safe choice but there’s inevitably a huge line. Though none of this is too terrible, the level of mediocrity still seems high when you think about how expensive the meal plan is… but that’s another issue altogether. Anyway, despite all of my criticism, the Deece does have its good days. My personal favorite is any day that involves sweet potatoes or roasted brussel sprouts. Or any day when the crowning achievement of the Deece is present: the vegan oatmeal cookies (which go great with some chocolate soy milk). I also want to emphasize the importance of bananas. Though they run out super quickly in the mornings, so you have to act fast if you want to get the good ones. It’s definitely worth putting in the effort to stock up on as many as you can carry, especially when you compare that to the 89 cents for one banana price at the Retreat #ripoff.
Honestly the Deece isn’t so bad, but complaining about it is one of those things that can truly bring people together. If you ever run out of conversation topics, you can be certain that you will both bond over a mutual distaste for the Deece’s paltry version of pizza and a mutual lamentation over the loss of home-cooked meals.