The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Sunday December 4th

Column: In Chase Dining Hall, seating is getting a little fishy

A student walks inside of glass extention to Chase Dining Hall on March 30, 2021.
Buy Photos A student walks inside of glass extention to Chase Dining Hall on March 30, 2021.

If you live on South Campus, you’ve walked past it. 

To many students, it’s just the clear, open seating area at Chase Dining Hall. Some might even call it “the big glass box” or “that thing people sit in where you can watch everyone eat.” But unless you’ve dared to venture into its turbulent waters, you might be unfamiliar with the true name: the Fish Bowl. 

Now this isn’t just any ordinary fish bowl. No, this tank is filled with many different species and groups of fish, all of which have their own unique habits and characteristics. 

First we have the Silent Seahorse. 

This species usually keeps to the edges of the tank and is always accompanied by one key possession: their phone. When observing this phenomenon, outsiders are forced to question whether they are having a FaceTime staring contest or merely exploring the art of hypnosis. 

Nevertheless, Silent Seahorses thrive in their reserved environment, and although it may cause you physical pain to see their necks crane for such an extended period of time, local chiropractic businesses don’t seem to be complaining!

On the other side of the fish world, we have the Talkative Tuna.

In between mouthfuls of food, this fish’s complaints about their ECON professor or review of the dining hall pasta can be heard all across the Fish Bowl — and South Campus as a whole. A 10th floor Hojo resident recently admitted that she overheard the Tuna from her bedroom window and "felt guilty that she was invading his privacy” but “agreed with his stance on the pasta.” 

Similar to the Talkative Tuna, the Clown Fish can be heard far and wide. 

But unlike the Tuna, the Clown doesn’t restrict themselves to just using mere words to get attention. This fish can be seen jumping, skating, running or cartwheeling around the room, with the occasional subtle glance outside to see if anyone is watching. They don’t care what other people think, but if they did, they’d want people to know that they have lots of friends, they thrift regularly and that you should hit them up to get lunch sometime.

Next is the most common and consistent species: the Reel Ones. 

They may look ordinary upon first look, but after their second, third, fourth and fifth Fish Bowl sighting in one day, you will soon realize that they never really seem to leave. 

Sometimes recognizable by their matching athletic uniforms and stacks of used plates, these fish usually travel in groups ranging from three to six members, and as creatures of habit, they always sit in the same exact seating formation. 

This unspoken seating rule is not strictly enforced, but if one fish is found in another’s seat at 2:30 on a Wednesday, let’s just say there will be a bit of commocean. 

While the Fish Bowl at peak hour may closely resemble your fifth grade birthday party at DEFY Gravity, I want to remind you that there is nothing wrong with sitting in this beloved glass box. 

The Fish Bowl is a place of laughter and General Tso's, of Beyond Burgers and new friends. It is simultaneously the perfect haven for a hungry student and the ultimate entertainment for a bored people-watcher. But regardless of wherever you choose to eat your meals, I urge you to swim out of your comfort zone and try a new reef.

At the end of the day, there’s always more fish in the sea. 


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