What will become of the Napkin Board…

As February break winds down and I prepare to head back to campus I am getting more and more excited for the new commons. For those of you who don’t know, Bates is opening up a new dining facility after break ends. The new commons will have a greater number of seats, will offer more food options, and will even include what the Bates website calls a ‘fireplace lounge’ study area for students. I could go on and on discussing everything that is great about the new dining facility but I will spare you. If you are interested in additional information you can read more about it here: http://www.bates.edu/dining-commons.xml and here:  http://www.bates.edu/x173337.xml.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      What I want to know is whether or not the napkin board will be transferred from the old commons to the new commons. The napkin board is a very special part of the Bates culture. In the old commons, when someone felt the need to express a concern, suggestion, complaint, or complement about the food or the dining facility, one would take out a pen, grab a napkin, write down whatever was necessary and would post the napkin on the napkin board located at the exit of commons. Every week commons workers would post clever responses (or well-reasoned objections) to each student-posted napkin. I have seen napkins demanding certain obscure cereals, more bacon, and odd condiments. I have seen napkins complaining that haddock shouldn’t be served at almost every meal. I have seen napkins thanking commons workers for all their hard work.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           It is almost a right of passage for Batesies to post on the napkin board at least once during their four year stay on campus. It would be a shame to see the napkin board disappear when the new commons officially opens in a few days. I am confident however that the Bates napkin board tradition will not die simply because food will be served in a different location. If anything I believe the napkin board ritual (if I can call it that) will thrive in a new setting. Still… at this point I can only speculate. I will be sure to keep you posted on any napkin board news…

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