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The Napkin Chronicles

Snugly tucked into the collar or draped across the knees, the hardworking napkin lives to serve. At Swarthmore, this industrious tool has one more role: messenger. For decades, many Swarthmoreans—maybe even you—have tacked up napkins bearing questions and requests about the Sharples menu on the dining hall bulletin board. Dining Services Director Linda McDougall is the answer maven who responds to each napkin, and shares a few more answers with us. 

“As long as I have been here, 25 years, the napkin board has been in existence.”

“I’m trying to respond every week.”

“People ask us anything, from requesting specific cereals to taking certain items off the menu.”

“We love when students compliment a recipe or employee. We always share feedback and shout-outs with staff. We need to celebrate our successes!”

“After we answer the question, all the napkins go in the compost bin.”

“I’m fine if my identity is no longer secret. Keep those questions coming!”