Opinion: An army of flies has invaded the cafeteria

Todd Kleiboer, Co-Editor

Todd Kleiber | Co-Editor

With the Cafe, you may not expect a whole lot in terms of food. Some of it is going to be bland, some alright, and some surprisingly good, but it’s always a gamble on quality whenever you eat at the Cafe.

However, I would argue that everyone would at least expect one thing: some sort of cleanliness. Don’t get me wrong, the tables and chairs are always in good condition (except when people have just eaten on them which is normal), and the floors are never sticky and gritty with some unknown substance.

But there’s an overabundance of the dirtiest six-legged insects: flies. Flies seem to be everywhere in the Cafe as they take refuge from the outside cold, and they land on everything. Food is never safe, and I’ve even taken to covering my food with napkins to protect it from the buzzing swarm.

At one point, I had five – five – flies on a single chair in front of me as I was eating, and there were more hovering over nearby tables. It was like they were trying to create a sentient being that would try to carry a conversation with me.

First, flies are incredibly filthy, and that’s putting it mildly. According to a 1942 study (that should tell you something), flies were identified as carriers of bacteria that cause food poisoning such as salmonella and some that cause diarrhea. So, in short, flies buzzing about in large numbers where hundreds of people eat isn’t good for the people and isn’t good for the eating establishment.

Maybe it was the unseasonably warm weather that ended only about a week ago, maybe the cold drove the flies inside. I don’t know, but I’ve seen tables and chairs assaulted by flies. I do know one thing: Sodexo or the university could easily do something about it.

The simplest solution would be hanging fly paper somewhere inside the Cafe, probably somewhere discreet that wouldn’t draw much attention. It’s inexpensive at about $10 for 16 strips of fly paper, but if the university or Sodexo has a policy against it, there are other solutions.

I know that the university had a partnership with Orkin when I came in as a freshman in 2015, and Orkin, a professional extermination service, could easily take care of this problem using non-chemical techniques such as their Insect Light Traps and Small Fly Foam which are non-toxic and safe for people.

I like the Cafe despite some of its culinary flaws, but I cannot stand for the flies that constantly flit from table to table looking for the next place to infest. The swirling vortex that surrounds my plate by the time I set it on the table has to disappear once and for all.