Reap rewards of dumpster diving without the stigma

Photo // Korina Rojo


For students looking for a freemium feast that strikes the perfect balance between quality and adventure, look no further than any open space in the Tivoli Monday through Friday on Auraria Campus. The last scraps of catered meals offer a delectable, limited, and affordable option for students who are looking to keep their bank accounts full and vulture tendencies alive.

“Hey! There is free food in the multicultural lounge,” a voice croons from across the classroom. “I think that random Student Government Association thing is giving away pizza.” Crowds of students scurry across the Tivoli Quad, trying not to look too excited about the opportunity of free food. The wave of student vultures emerge in the Multicultural Lounge and find a few SGA members collecting exit surveys, but more importantly, a stack of untouched and glorious pizza boxes. While the type of food varies from event to event, what remains the same is the tantalizing, old, crusty, and overly-reheated texture that riddles through the entire dish. For this group of students, the shriveled slices of pizza offer no exception to this.

The timeline for gathering these appetizing meals is of top priority. Offering free food is generally a clever ruse to trap students into submitting their email for a student club or signing a petition for a new student initiative—all things that students in search of the free meal need to avoid. The idea sounds tempting. Attending the event at the beginning would guarantee that the cheese on the pizza would be melty; the pasta, protein, and veggies would be plenty; and that there would still be plates available for food transportation.

However, that path only leads to crushing disappointment. “I once arrived at an event on time, and after I grabbed my food and started for the door, I tasted a terrible spine-splitting morsel of disgust,” a second-year psychology major said. “The food was properly heated and plentiful. It just didn’t feel the same.”

To the benefit of CU Denver students, there truly is no shortage of variety on these freemium options. Student organizations and administration varies the type of catered meals providing eclectic options for the everyday student. From crisp spaghetti noodles to frozen berry cupcakes to chicken drowning in its own juicy liquid, students of Auraria  Campus are discovering the joys and sweet stylings of leftover foods.

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