Housing, Dining, and Haters: Why Are Students Making Fun of HDH?

Photo courtesy of Marcel Aviles

Why are students bashing Housing Dining Hospitality (HDH) on Facebook?

The recent trend of making fun of HDH food on Facebook has taken on a life of its own, reaching thousands of students. On ”UCSD Memes for Sleep Deprived Tritons,” second year Political Science major Marcel Aviles posted a photo.

“Let’s say this place is 63°+1°,” Aviles said about the photo of undercooked-looking steak he posted that received around 400 likes.

Other students were more explicit.

“The chicken tenders are from Canyon Vista,” said Wenyi Chen, a third year Computer Science student, who posted a photo of undercooked-looking chicken that received 1,300 likes. “I’ve been at UCSD for a couple of years so I’m used to whatever they serve here ($5 chicken breast, plain pasta with barely any sauce, meatloaf that wasn’t properly dethawed), but I thought it was excessively bad even for HDH that chicken tenders could be served thoroughly raw, when the cooking process is put in fryer, wait X [amount of] time, take it out.”

Warren Council Senator and HDH Advisory Committee member Zahabiya Nuruddin says that she has been in contact with HDH since the photos began to pop up on the memes page.

“The dining team has informed us that they are working hard on training for staff, policy, and operating procedures. They are paying special attention to how they train students and staff, making sure that they understand food safety items,” Nuruddin said. “HDH wants students to give their staff an opportunity to fix anything that goes wrong. They are always open to feedback and want to provide the best service for students.”

Perhaps what is most interesting about the food posting trend (and several other online trends within the ”UCSD Memes for Sleep Deprived Tritons” group) is that the there is an actual public forum and dialogue for disputing well-established administration narratives. There is precedent for understanding why students might be so upset with the quality of HDH.

Every year, UC San Diego conducts the Student Satisfaction Survey in order to determine student thoughts and feelings on each campus department. Dining Services has consistently received the second-worst ranking (54) out the 55 departments measured in 2015, 2016, and 2017.

While HDH will often insist that students typically called “customers” and love their food, the trend to post the photos might speak to an actual quantifiable distaste for quality of food on campus.

HDH is hosting a forum for students to “interact with HDH management, express concerns, suggest policy changes, and be heard” this Wednesday from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in the Revelle Formal Lounge.

Gabe Schneider is the News Editor at The Triton. You can follow him on Twitter @gabemschneider