The dining options at Bates are great. Commons provides diverse food options, gourmet meals, and is consistently ranked as one of the best cafeterias in the country. The Den has mozzarella sticks! But on those nights when it’s too late to swipe into Commons and too cold to walk to the Den, Bobcats turn to the piece of Bates innovation that is Den Delivery for nourishment.
Sunday through Thursday, 9 p.m. – 12 a.m., Den Deliverers work tirelessly into the night, managing orders and trekking across Bates campus to give students the fuel they need. From the warmth of the Den, over the barren roads and sidewalks, Den Deliverers, such as Lilah Lesniak ‘22, fly to your dorm bearing delicious snacks to get you through the week.
Lilah is a sophomore at Bates and has been working for Den Delivery for several months since the start of the school year; in her time working as a Den Deliverer, Lilah has already provided one hundred deliveries to starving students. Lilah rides her bike across every corner of Bates’ campus to get us the food we need. She’s endured long trips, cold weather, and even going inside of JB in her quest to feed the college.
I asked Lilah what the process of delivering food to students was like, and she said that often, when she arrives to the dorm, the students she’s delivering to have forgotten that they ordered, and are pleasantly surprised to find food has arrived. Sometimes, upon knocking at the student’s door, Lilah hears distressed whispers coming from inside the dorm. Lilah said that when these students open the door, it’s not only a pleasant surprise, but also a welcomed relief that, “it’s not security.”
Lilah personifies an optimism necessary in carrying out the Herculean task of Den delivering. I asked Lilah what she thought of working for Den Delivery, and while I assumed she would tell me the job was grueling, or that the pay check made it worth it, she provided a much different reply. “It’s the best job I ever had,” Lilah told me. “I love to bike. And you get paid to bike and hang out with people,” she explained. While this answer initially surprised me, upon further discussion with Lilah, and reflection on the college all together, the true nature of Den Delivery’s relationship to Bates became clear.
The need for the Den delivery service at Bates is clear: students just don’t have the time to leave the room every time they want to eat. The cold weather and minimal dining options on campus block many a hungry student’s path. Yet, Den deliveries’ existence at Bates is not the result of a demand for the service, but also a supply. Every college has hungry students, but Bates benefits from having a student body that enjoys tasks like working for Den Delivery.
Lilah’s love for the job exemplifies some of the best attributes of Bates’ students that make the school unique. Passion for being outside (even when it’s in the single digits) and spending time with strangers and friends alike are core values at Bates. While we and our school may fail at times in embodying these values, institutions such as Den Delivery testify to their vibrancy at Bates.
If you want to see Lilah do one of the hardest jobs on Bates Campus in action, she’ll be working on Sunday.