As a social hub and “food” place on campus, the Deece is as mysterious as it is frustrating. When we sit down for an interview, the Deece welcomes me in warmly, offering a steaming cup of Ethiopian Sidamo. I politely decline—I much prefer the Café Kilimanjaro—and we begin to chat about the changes that have taken place in Big D this semester.
ZB: During winter break when you had a long time alone to reflect, what was the first thing you thought about ?
ACDC: I made up my mind to improve our water. I thought back to my years studying abroad in other parts of New York and remembered how country clubs suspended different fruits and vegetables in their water. I wanted to offer customers a chance to sample many different kinds of water, because it is the most important part of a meal.
ZB: Some critics have likened your concoctions to “bong-water.” How do you respond?
ACDC: I’ve been a haven for stoned kids for years, and that demographic will always be on my side. I’m just going to shake it off.
ZB: Going off of your pop culture reference, tell me about the decision to play music.
ACDC: Sometimes the students here at Vassar seem so downtrodden. I’m trying to liven up the spirit by playing some carnival music that elicits thoughts of clowns and ring toss.
ZB: Did you ever consider that people are downtrodden because they are at the Deece? Or that people don’t want to have thoughts of clowns?
ACDC: Here, why don’t you have some coffee?
ZB: Look, a lot of things have moved around here. The utensils, the ketchup, the chocolate milk, the fro-yo station. Why?
ACDC: A lot of them I can’t explain; however, the fro-yo move is a simple one: the people who dine on my dark side look forlorn, subdued and lonely. I figured putting a fro-yo machine over there might cheer them up.
ZB: Talk to me a bit more about the cloudy and sunny sides of the deece. What do they mean to you?
ACDC: Every person has a balance inside them, a yin and yang, light and dark, sunny and cloudy, Drake and Lil Wayne. For me the two sides help me channel and compartmentalize both of these feelings. Meals tend to have a mood, whether you are having a carefree meal with your friends, or rage-eating because you lost your intramural volleyball game, and I wanted to offer the facilities for a whole range of dining experiences. I do this better than any other dining facility on campus.
ZB: How do you feel about the other dining centers on campus? Are they friends of yours?
ACDC: The Retreat and I don’t really see window to window, and we never have. Like, why wouldn’t you let a hungry student eat as much as they want? Just because you have Nilda’s doesn’t mean you have to be so elitist. As for my older brother, UpC, we’re close in proximity but not so much in personality. Sure, I’m not allowed to stay up as late as him, but that doesn’t make me any lamer, okay? I am dedicated to being a haven for people at their lowest points: post-Mug Night Saturday mornings.
ZB: Which reminds me, I would like to personally thank you for welcoming me into your arms after Halloween and letting me get an omelette even though it was 1:45 p.m.
ACDC: Anytime, bro! I’m looking to extend omelette hours well into the evening because in college, breakfast is a social construct!
Before I go, the Deece insists I take five or six cookies and some sickly bananas. I smile, knowing these cookies will sit on my desk until they are as hard as hockey pucks. I realize, now, we on campus often curse the Deece when there are no cups, or hate on the cornflake-infused water, but the Deece is only human. They have feels.