Opinions, Column

A “Rat-tastic” Column

The Rat is a hub of cultural innovation. It’s a hotspot for debriefs, jam sessions, and homework cramming. Whether it is your go-to spot for lunch or just the most convenient place for a bite between classes, everyone knows the Rat. As its student manager, I may be biased, but I think the Rat stands out as the best dining location on Boston College’s campus.

Let’s begin by addressing the name. I mean, come on, the Rat? Doesn’t it perfectly fit the silly and eccentric vibes this place emits? If you frequent the Rat, you are among the coolest of the cool.

Then there is the music. While the breakfast and lunch shifts leave little time for bustling crowds of students to appreciate music, the night shift is a different story.

At Late Night—the best shift to work—you will find a playlist of head-bopping, shoulder-shimmying, and foot-tapping tunes, carefully curated by our dedicated staff. Where else on campus can you hear “Rattlin’ Bog” and “Gary Come Home” over the speakers at full volume? Singing is greatly encouraged—just please do not scream-sing like you are in the front row at the Eras Tour, it will annoy the cashiers.

The food selection at the Rat is also among the best BC Dining has to offer. Chicken tenders and fries are consistently the most commonly purchased items at Late Night. Personally, I am more of a mozzarella sticks guy, but to each their own. The paninis, milkshakes, sriracha chicken-salad sandwiches (BC Dining’s best grab-and-go item), and all of the comfort foods offered give that homey feel that makes me spend upward of 25 hours there each week.

Finally, the best part of it all is the staff. When I look for a job, one of the main things I consider is whether I will be able to work with other people, as I am highly extroverted. Since starting at the Rat last fall, I have had the honor of getting to know some of the most caring, hardworking, and hilarious people on our campus. We love partaking in team-building activities (partying) and poking fun at each other (some more than others). And then there’s Maria, the nighttime head cashier and my “work momma,” if you will. While she might seem intimidating, she has a huge heart and loves us all dearly. Just do not attempt to steal a Core Power in front of her, or it is game over for you. Seriously, you will regret it.

As fun of a place as it is, the Rat has also provided me with some invaluable work experience. Professionally, my role as student manager is not something I take lightly. I feel as though I’ve always had a knack for managing, but now I get to actually put these skills to the test. Whether I am recruiting student workers, training new employees, or communicating with my bosses, I’m always trying to make the Rat run as smoothly as possible. I also make sure to voice any of my coworkers’ concerns to the bosses, because nobody messes with my Rats.

Furthermore, my time at the Rat has given me better insight to my long term career goals. Service jobs have always been my thing, but the joy I receive from all my hours giving back to the BC community in the form of chicken tenders shows me how much I might enjoy working for a mission driven company or nonprofit someday.

So come visit us at the Rat. Stop by and grab a delectable chocolate croissant, a shake-it-up salad, or some of the fried food that always sends you running back for more. Just do not ask me to tell you to have a “Rat-tastic night.” That is not me, and that phrase is (unofficially) trademarked. While you wait for that cashier’s familiar face to return from his semester abroad, make sure to spend some time at my happy place on campus.

December 1, 2023