Ranking the Burnaby campus microwaves

Sniffing out the best and the worst microwaves on our Burnaby campus

Photo taken by Vivien Ying Qi Li

By: Vivien Ying Qi Li, Peak Associate

Although SFU provides a variety of different food options for students to purchase on campus, sometimes I just want to bring meals from home. After all, it’s cheaper, more convenient, and nobody can make sweet and sour pork like my mom can. Luckily, SFU has microwaves available all over campus. This past week, I looked high and low to find all of the microwaves at SFU — hell, I even sniffed all of them for good measure — and compiled a list of the four most memorable microwaves on the Burnaby campus. 

#1: Maggie Benston Centre (MBC) food court

Photo taken by Vivien Ying Qi Li
Photo taken by Vivien Ying Qi Li
  • Convenience: 5/5
  • Cleanliness (inside): 4/5
  • Cleanliness (outside): 4/5
  • Smell: 5/5
  • Wait time: 4/5

Located at the MBC food court is a row of Panasonic microwaves ready for use. Don’t like one of them? Good news, there’s four more for you to choose from. Although this is arguably one of the more popular microwave spots, somehow, all five of these microwaves are kept in superb condition. With only minor food stains on the exterior, and a little wear-and-tear on the inside, these microwaves are by far the cleanest on this list. I even secretly took a whiff of these microwaves, and yep, they smell fine. Visit earlier in the day, though, as these microwaves get pretty packed during lunch hour. But because there’s five of them, the wait is never really that long. 

Tags: buy one get four free, easy to find hi, almost squeaky clean


#2: Women’s Centre – All Genders Resource Area: 

Photo taken by Vivien Ying Qi Li
Photo taken by Vivien Ying Qi Li
  • Convenience: 1/5
  • Cleanliness (inside): 4/5
  • Cleanliness (outside): 4.5/5
  • Smell: 2/5
  • Wait time: 5/5

This microwave took me eons to find. I had to ask my friend to help me find it because, for some reason, the Women’s Centre is hidden behind a door that’s hidden behind another door. My friend and I circled the campus awhile to find this place. Thankfully the microwave itself is pretty good: it’s clean, kind of cute, and oddly reminds me of home. The one thing I remember distinctly about this microwave was the fact that it had a really strong instant noodle and curry smell. An odd combo, but it wasn’t too bad. 

Tags: hidden, average Amy, smelly


#3: The Learning Hub at Education Central

Photo taken by Vivien Ying Qi Li
Photo taken by Vivien Ying Qi Li
  • Convenience: 4/5
  • Cleanliness (inside): 1/5
  • Cleanliness (outside): 4.5/5
  • Smell: N/A
  • Wait time: 3/5

If the word “catfish” had to be described using a microwave, the ones at The Learning Hub at Education Central would definitely fit the bill. I was super excited when I saw the nice, sleek exterior of these microwaves, so much so that I would actually give this microwave a bonus mark. But when I opened it . . . man, I really wish I hadn’t. It was like someone’s lunch had exploded in there; every wall was covered in spaghetti-sauce abstract art. I vaguely remember seeing some chicken in there, too, just greeting me from the glass plate. Because of the terrifying appearance of the inside of the microwave, I didn’t dare get close enough to smell it. From a beautiful two metres away, however, the microwave smelled fine. 

Tags: catfish, abstract art, the chicken says hi


#4: Technology & Science Complex 1 (TASC1) first floor

Photo taken by Vivien Ying Qi Li
Photo taken by Vivien Ying Qi Li
  • Convenience: 2/5
  • Cleanliness (inside): 2/5
  • Cleanliness (outside): 2.5/5
  • Smell: 1/5
  • Wait time: 5/5 because no one wants to come here

This microwave looks like it hasn’t seen the light of day since 2005 when TASC1 was built. Hidden near the Earth Sciences commons on the first floor in TASC1, one would not know that this microwave even existed unless they really stopped and stared super hard. I’m not even kidding when I say that I walked past this microwave a good three times before I finally saw it. The outside and inside of the microwave are stained like crazy. Even the table it’s situated on is dirty. That’s not even the best part, though. The best part is the fact that even from two metres away, I could smell the microwave’s musty/spoiled food/what-am-I-smelling smell. If you can, try to avoid this microwave at all costs. 

Tags: forgotten since 2005, gave me nightmares, has invisibility powers