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The Dartmouth
June 23, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Dartmouth Dining Services Overcharges Students

To the Editor:

I've been meaning to write about the ridiculous prices at Dartmouth Dining Services for the past three years now; I guess I just never really knew where to start.

Well, the other day I cooked dinner with a group of friends, and I did a little calculation which I thought might be interesting to share. At Grand Union, I bought five pounds of pasta for two dollars. It wasn't the greatest sale, but it was a pretty good deal. While I was cooking the pasta, I thought to myself, "I wonder how much this amount of pasta would cost at Food Court." I did a quick mental calculation and came up with a number.

"No way," I thought, "I must have added an extra zero somewhere."

So I sat down with my calculator to try again, only to realize that my initial calculation, though nearly impossible to believe, was in fact correct.

First I read the side of the box. Well, the Prince Spaghetti Company says there are eight servings in a one pound box. Even though the pasta bowls at Food Court are tiny, we'll say there is a bit more than one official serving in each one. So we'll guess that DDS could get six servings from a pound. (This estimate was later confirmed in a conversation with a DDS cook). So six servings times five pounds is thirty servings from my two dollar purchase. At this point, my mind jumped ahead to the next step and my jaw dropped. If they charge $1.15 for a bowl of pasta in Food Court without sauce, then my two dollars worth of pasta would cost a happy DASH user $34.50!!

Oh, but wait, I shouldn't complain: DDS has a higher overhead than I do in my little dorm kitchen. I guess the question we should be asking ourselves is how many DDS student employees earning $5.55 an hour does it take to cook five pounds of pasta in an hour? It looks to me like the answer is about ten.