I’ve got to say that I have never been a huge fan of the menus in the Cage.
The two large flatscreen TVs rotate slowly through different sections of the food, as well as a few slides like mission statements that slow the rotation down even further.
The fact that the two slide shows are staggered slightly helps speed things up a bit and allow one to read twice as much of the full menu at once, but it still takes an inconvenient amount of time to cycle through all the options.
When I realized the Cage menus had been changed a few days ago, I looked closer, curious to see what had been altered.
From what I can tell, other than formatting, not a whole lot has changed.
The most noticeable difference was the addition of calories besides all the menu items now.
At first glance, this seemed like an improvement to me. I like knowing information about the nutritional value of the food and drinks I consume. Now I have more of that information in the Cage and I don’t have to guess.
After thinking about it some more and talking with a few friends, I quickly saw that this might not be a positive change for many people.
Labelling calories could be very detrimental for people who have or are recovering from eating disorders, for instance, and even for people whose mental health will not be negatively affected by the information. There may be people who want to order their chicken fingers in peace without having to see the potentially guilt-inducing amount of calories in them.
That’s not to say that information should not be available somewhere, I think it absolutely should be, but I wonder if maybe there is a better place. I wonder if, for example, there’s an app for that.
Perhaps the “All About Olaf” app.
As it currently stands, the app is not the easiest to navigate. I only just learned that you can turn off a filter on the Cage menu there so that you can view all the items and not just the specials.
Once you do that however, it is a much more convenient and accessible resource than the rotating Cage menus.
This app would be the perfect place to include calorie listings and other nutritional information about the food the Cage (and Stav and the Pause for that matter) serves. There could even be a separate page for it so those who did not want to see it would not have to.
It also wouldn’t be a bad place to put an online Pause pizza ordering platform, just saying.
Streamlining the app and maybe adding some features would encourage students to make use of the resource more often.
Not only would it give people a readily accessible alternative to the Cage menus, but it would create the added benefit of getting rid of the awkward clumps of students who are sort of in line and sort of not while they stare up at the menus until one of the screens gets to the slide they need.
It is high time for the Cage to come up with an effective solution for its menu once and for all.
We have the technology set up already. It’s just a matter of utilizing it to its full potential.
Larissa Banitt ’19 (firstname.lastname@example.org) is from Portland, Ore. She majors in English and women and gender studies.