An Open Letter to Shafer Court Dining Center

Dear Shafer Court Dining Center,

Contrary to most students’ popular opinion, I don’t actually hate you.

Some may call me crazy and others might just think I have bad taste, but I don’t think you’re as despicable as everyone purports.

For one, you shake things up. Yes, as a starry-eyed freshman heading into my fall semester, I believed I would spend my days blindly consuming pancakes from IHOP and super healthy salads from Croutons. The issue with this, though, came when I realized that eating the same exact mediocre thing over and over again caused those great pancakes and dreams of healthy eating to lose their luster. Shafer, you offer me variety -- something a little different every day. I can count on you to shake things up and surprise me, and, when you’re eating at the same five places every day in your week, that can make a big difference.

Secondly, you offer me sushi. Little did I know that I would develop such a taste for something I used to not like at all. Sushi gives me a chance to branch out and try something new; something that is made fresh in front of me. I can choose to get the same thing or to be adventurous and try something a bit different. And there has yet to be a day where I haven’t craved the Crunchy Roll.

On that note, your food quality isn’t as bad as everyone claims. Look, I get it; you’re a dining hall. Your food isn’t ever going to be as good as some gourmet restaurant or anything I could get at home. This being said, though, you often surprise me with some of your better dishes. While I find the majority of my VCU dining experience to be mediocre, you can occasionally pull out something that’s genuinely praiseworthy.

Shafer, I know you get a bad rap, but I’m here to tell you that I still find you pretty tasty. Sure, you’re not the gourmet dining experience of Bleecker St.  but you’re still pretty dang good. And the dessert bar? I think I got my freshmen fifteen on your sugar cookies alone.


A frequent Shafer diner

photo credit: Alexa Benhart