“Hot Food Only for Athletes” at Essie Mae’s; Students Confused

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

Essie Mae’s receives most of its food traffic from the grill, often with lines that extend outside the ordering room. Few notice the hot soup and chicken on the side. But when one student, Campus Life Representative Andrea Cornejo ’10, tried to bypass the long line for the grill by serving herself this food, members of Dining Services stopped her.

She was told that this food was only for athletes, swimmers specifically. Surprised, Cornejo brought it up to members of Student Council, who were unaware of the situation. Men’s and Women’s Swimming Head Coach Sue Davis explained.

After a swim meet, “We have choices where we can eat after dinner time. We could eat at a restaurant in the Ville or at Essie Mae’s,” said Davis. Members of the team informed Davis of their preference of eating at Essie Mae’s. As a result, the swim team chose to order a certain amount of “hot food.” “That’s why it’s not there for other people,” said Davis. “We have 34 people that are eating.”

The funding for the hot food is part of students’ meal plans, according to Davis. “Any other team can do it, [but usually] they just choose to go to the restaurant,” she said. The night Cornejo encountered the restriction at Essie Mae’s happened to be the night of the Centennial Conference Match.

Casey Osborn ’10, a member of the women’s swim team, said, “Since Sharples is the main dining hall, [Athletics] wants to make sure that we get a proper supplement to a Sharples meal…people may have just recently noticed.”

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