The Collegian
Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Buffalo chicken dip and companions perish in health initiative

A response to the changes in The Cellar's menu

Aug. 29 marked the death of yet another group of martyrs in the crusade against nutritious eating. Our beloved buffalo chicken dip will be mourned, as will his comrades who followed suit: chicken wings and cheesy bread. No proper funeral was held for these brave soldiers, so I will attempt to serve them justice in this eulogy.

Our friends fell in the battle to make The Cellar's menu “healthier, fresher and more local,” said Beverly Binns, senior manager of the Cellar. I normally have no problem with health-conscious eating. In fact, I applaud people who posses the self-control necessary to eat healthy in this day and age. I simply do not have the will to do it. Nor do I want to. I enjoy greasy foods that are detriments to my health. That's a choice I make each and every day.

I do have a problem when I am forced to eat healthy food. When I was younger, I hated green beans. Absolutely despised them. And my mother would not allow me to leave the dinner table until I finished every single one. She was teaching me to eat healthy foods at a pivotal time in my nutritional education.

But now I do know better. I am choosing to eat the foods I do. The United States recognized me as a legal adult four years ago and believes I am both responsible and accountable for my own actions. I, too, like to think I am old enough to be making my own choices.

This is why I believe The Cellar's new menu is an outrage. Change the menu all you want to reduce wait time (the old menu was slightly wordy), or for cost reasons (although The Cellar's budget never changed, according to Binns). I don't care if you add healthier items to the menu. But don't do it at the expense of the more delicious choices.

Which, surprisingly, is not at all what The Cellar did. Not only did they eliminate all of the greasy food from the menu, they removed many of the vegetarian options.“There aren't nearly as many options now, especially vegetarian options,” said sophomore Courtney Kaufman.

Those in favor of the new menu will point out that I do not have to eat at The Cellar. They are correct. This menu change may very well mean I do not eat at The Cellar again for the remainder of my senior year. But the list of alternatives to get a greasy fix is rapidly deteriorating. Since I was a freshman, I looked forward to sharing buffalo chicken dip with my classmates on Cellar Wednesdays. Now, that thought is mere fantasy.

This is a case of in loco parentis expanding unnecessarily. Students have typically gone to college and enjoyed more freedom than they have ever known. During my tenure at Richmond, this trend appears to be reversing. One does not expect to leave home and move in with a stricter parent for the next four years. If I am 22 years old, I expect to be trusted with the task of choosing whether or not I want buffalo chicken dip at 11:30 p.m. on a Tuesday. I would prefer if the school did not make it for me.

I've known buffalo chicken dip my entire Richmond career. Chicken wings and I became closer when I was a sophomore. And although I only met cheesy bread last semester, he became one of my closer companions. You will be mourned with nostalgia on Wednesdays for years to come. That is, at least, until the class of 2017 graduates. But until then, I will call for their resurrection.

Contact reporter Charles Durkin at

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