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ARA food still substandard despite claimed reforms

In a recent Tech article ["MIT likely to renew ARA," March 2], Undergraduate Association President Paul L. Antico mentioned improvements to ARA food services which "have been especially noticed at Lobdell, Next House, and McCormick." I do not often dine at McCormick, and while I do believe that Lobdell probably offers the best food of any ARA establishment on the MIT campus, I have to wonder what Mr. Antico thinks has improved at the Next House dining facilities.

I -- a Next House resident since coming to MIT -- have noted a distinct decrease in the quality and variety of food offered at the Next House dining hall since last term. I noticed that in the last week, french fried mushrooms were served at dinner on three separate occasions. Stir-fry chicken graced the menu at least twice. Why? Because these dishes were, to be blunt, terrible! Since the abundant supply of these foods could not be depleted in one night, ARA decided to continue to offer them on subsequent nights until they finally disappeared. I don't think anyone would be surprised if it turned out that there's still a little chicken and a few mushrooms waiting to die in the dining hall refrigerators.

Also last week, Next House (and other dining halls) offered a special Chinese dinner. I personally found that the food either tasted horrible, or was completely devoid of flavor. The icing on the cake was that the dining hall walls were covered with posters depicting scenes of Japan. That's interesting. ARA succeeded in insulting two cultures in one night: one by mocking its cuisine, and the other by blaming it for such horrid food.

These are just examples from one week. Who knows what lies in store for us in the future? I'm not sure I want to know. I just wish that Mr. Antico would stop by Next House one evening and try the food before making statements about its quality.

Aaron Newman '92->