Phelps Hall dining finds new solutions amidst labor shortage

*This article is part of The Ranchor, The Anchor’s biannual satire edition*

In an effort to secure enough workers to staff the dining hall, Phelps has opted for an unusual strategy: recruiting students who are found breaking COVID-19 policies and other school rules into forced labor. It’s a bold solution and not without risks but, the dining staff says, “it could have major payoffs.”

“Already we’re seeing our staff almost triple in size,” said a representative from the Hope dining. “We may even have to find new places for these students to work.” 

Proponents for this solution are hailing it as an “elegant” and “sophisticated” fix. 

“I don’t know why we didn’t think of this before”, said the mastermind behind the solution, Student Congress member Paulie Sy. “After partnering with admin to figure out ways to dissuade students from breaking rules, we thought this was the perfect deterrent.” 

On the other hand, critics argue that working in the dining hall is not sufficient punishment for rule-breakers. “It’s a privilege to be able to serve the Hope community in the dining hall,” said Annalease Vanderbergen (’24). “Those rule-breakers shouldn’t get to have that privilege.” 

Lukas VanOtterheimer (’23) is one of the new recruits in Phelps Dining Hall. A junior, he hasn’t held a job on Hope’s campus – until now. 

“I had my mask under my nose in the dining hall one day and all of sudden everything went dark. When I woke up, I was wearing an apron and had a serving spoon in my hand,” VanOtterheimer said as he put food on a plate. “I’ve been dishing out chicken ever since. Could you move now, please? I can’t cause a line.” 

This policy is still in its early stages and Hope College will have to wait and see the results of this bold new solution. Phelps Dining Hall, however, is hopeful. Already, plans are underway to add more hours to dine, with the possibility of 24/7 service in the near future. 

“It’s really exciting, you know? We’ve been really wanting to expand our services,” said the Dine at Hope representative. “We’re so grateful that the COVID-19 protocols are providing us with a lot of workers to make our dreams our reality. Without students taking COVID-19 seriously, none of this would be a possibility.” 

For now, though, the dining staff is happy to finally have enough workers again. 

If you or someone you know has been caught breaking COVID-19 or school rules, please see for next steps. 

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