Your schedule is full, but your stomach is empty. You were up at the crack of dawn to study and go to class, so you missed lunch again, and your insides are yelling at you for it.

It’s now 3 p.m. and you are ravenous and ready to devour some tasty Commons food. After eyeing the chicken (both patties and nuggets, if you’re lucky) and the grilled cheese (grilled to bone-dry perfection so the bread disintegrates to dust with every bite), you see it.

Your stomach smiles at the sight of a thin patty of brownish-grey meat, topped in vibrant yellow cheese, placed delicately atop a slightly less dehydrated bun. You take that beautiful sandwich in your trembling, malnourished hands and take the bite you’ve been waiting for all day.

The texture is a little off, but the flavor is similar to a typical fast-food burger, satisfying your hamburger craving.  So why is this sandwich so unique?

Upon reading one too many comment cards questioning the mysterious meats that are so common at the Commons, dining services general manager Craig Pearson revealed the Commons’ patty secret formula.

“As some of you may have guessed, the hamburgers served by Sodexo are not normal hamburgers,” Pearson said. “We have been listening to student complaints about the price of the meal plan, so we’re trying something a bit unconventional in hopes of cutting costs in the near future.”

Pearson was referring to the mystery ingredient in the “hamburgers” in the Commons. Turns out, these burgers are packing a little less “moo” and a little more “neigh.”

The newest addition to the Commons’ menu is also known as the Black Beauty Burger.

That’s right: Horsemeat.

In February, horsemeat-contaminated products were traced primarily to companies in France and Ireland that distributed their products throughout Europe, leaving many carnivores disgusted and shocked.

This reaction is shared with freshman Kaitlin Galinat, who unknowingly sampled her first taste of horsemeat in the Commons last week.

“I had a pet horse when I was a kid,” Galinat said. “He was my best friend. What if I accidently ate a piece of him? What if took a bite of his brother?”

With reactions like this, why would Sodexo choose to serve these horsemeat patties?

“It’s much cheaper, and it tastes about the same as hamburger,” Pearson said. “And it only makes up one-third of the burgers, so you’re still technically eating a hamburger.”

Sodexo is currently working with Pearson and Augustana’s Student Dining Services Task Force to decide whether or not horsemeat is the best solution for cutting meal plan costs. Until a conclusion is drawn, some students are willing to give horsemeat burgers a chance.

“If it tastes okay and it means I don’t have to sell a kidney to afford the meal plan, I’ll eat some pony every once in awhile,” freshman Emma Johnson said. “Besides, I honestly thought the burgers had squirrel meat in them, so this is actually a step up.”