Community / Opinion

Dana dorms need a larger kitchen budget

The Johnstons and Wheeler all have dorm kitchens available for student use, but shared dorm kitchen supplies are insufficient or disappear over the school year. Students can choose to buy their own supplies, but this is a large expense that some may be unwilling to pay, and student’s kitchenware is sometimes also used by others without permission. Furthermore, current shared kitchen supplies are largely dependent on what graduating students choose to leave behind. These factors lower the equal accessibility of kitchens to boarders.

Dana Hall should provide a uniform set of kitchen supplies to each dorm, including the most essential items: silverware, plates, bowls, coffee mugs, pots, pans, knives, cutting boards, and baking pans, costing approximately $300 per set. This would ensure that all boarders have access to the basic kitchen supplies. The expenses for this set would also be much lower than $300 after the first year, because Dana Hall would only need to replenish the broken or missing items instead of buying a new set.

In addition, a designated kitchen budget around $100 should be annually. For example, students in one dorm may want an air fryer while students in another dorm may want more baking appliances. This budget would allow dorms to provide supplies that meet the different needs of students.

Aside from the dorm snack budget, the dorm parents receive a $200 budget at the start of the school year to buy supplies for their dorms, including decorations and kitchenware. However, with an unspecified purpose for this $200, dorm parents may overlook the kitchen and choose to focus on decorations. For example, according to Mr. Brett Elwell, the Johnston C dorm director, “In theory, feasibly, I could probably spend money on the kitchen, [but] I just haven’t.” A designated kitchen budget would ensure that Dana Hall boarding students can cook, together or individually, in their kitchens, turning the dorms into homes.

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