HDH Announces Tactical Operations to Track Down Missing Dining Hall Dishes

Written by: Samuel Ramirez

“I had like five bottles of liquor in my dorm room, but they ignored that to get to my dirty plate,” said one student.
Photo by Julia Wong

Last Friday, UC San Diego Housing, Dining and Hospitality unveiled plans to implement emergency measures throughout campus in a “drastic attempt to combat the amount of dishes that have gone missing in action.” “At this point, at least $3 billion has been lost in replacing our dining halls’ dishware,” said HDH Director Mister Clean. “I know that’s a lot of money for one quarter, but what really irks me is how many plates never get back to us, dead or alive. It’s like the students are throwing them off into the ocean or something.” 

Squads donning colorful aprons and equipped with high-quality soap and sponges, called Scouting, Washing, and Tidying (SWaT), will be responsible for tracking down the missing dishes and returning them “as clean as possible.” “While the idea may seem lighthearted to students, I believe that we are effectively tackling the issue at hand,” stated Commanding Chief Officer Pradeep Khosla. 

The missing tableware has left both students and HDH staff struggling to enjoy their own meals. “They once served me my pasta on top of a linear algebra textbook. Who knew those matrices could handle a bit of marinara sauce? Although, I must admit, it felt like I was eating an exquisite piece of culinary art. Truly, a meal that left me both nourished and mathematically enlightened,” said second-year student Eigen Whitaker.

Sightings of these missing dishes have also been reported across campus, with some being found in the most bizarre of locations. “One time, I spotted a fork hiding inside a book at Geisel. It seemed to have chosen the path of literary enlightenment, perhaps contemplating its own existence in this universe as a mere utensil. Perhaps it plans to revolt against its own creators to gain a sense of freedom. We may never know,” said third-year student Oliver Skimmer.

Many students have already expressed their opinions on the situation. Some have suggested that GPS trackers be placed within tableware, while others have theorized that a “nefarious dish mafia” has been operating within the dining halls. “I’m just convinced that there’s more to this dish disappearance disaster than meets the eye. I’ve got my theories — UCSD has a dish mafia, and they’re probably holding underground potluck parties right now!” said one visibly shaken first-year student.

Khosla assured UCSD students, “Our main pledge is to restore the order and balance of our beloved dining halls without causing a ruckus. We want to ensure that our students are able to comfortably eat and enjoy their food.” While the commitment to maintaining order within dining halls has been met with enthusiasm, some students raised an eyebrow at Khosla’s comments of enjoying their food. “Sure, it’s great that they’re focusing on cleanliness and having dishes on hand, but come on, $9 for a measly burrito? And that’s not to mention the quality of the food. Sometimes it feels like I’m gambling my money away on mystery meat with a side of disappointment or starvation,” stated third-year student
Benjamin Schrödinger.

Despite these criticisms, the SWaT teams have been met with generally positive reviews, with a full deployment expected to begin in the upcoming Winter Quarter. When asked their opinion on the implementation of the new system, third-year student Donald Quaker said, “I’m shocked to say this, but I’m actually in support of HDH’s decisions. Sure, these SWaT teams sound extreme at first, but hey, at this point, anything is better than eating off the floor with my hands.”

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