The hostel messes in IITK are lately being refurnished and they have got this new self service system in place now. Also the old row based sitting system is gone and there are many smaller tables. So u are free to sit wherever u want and with ur friends. I find it a welcome change from the regular sit-in-the-order-eat-in-quantums style.
During summers, students from other hostels (Hall 5) are also eating in hall 2 mess. Now there is a strange thing I have seen. Some of them just leave their plates on the tables after eating and since I have heard this myself, it is not that they forget to do it. For some of them, it is an unacceptable idea that they are supposed to pick up their plates and put them to sink/trolly. I am quite amazed since I have always felt that the old practice of leaving ur plates on the tables in the mess was actually pretty bad. Since my childhood I have learned to go and put my plate in the sink. In fact letting somebody else pick up my plate (read my mom or my sis) actually feels so bad.
Infact a very positive effect of putting down ur plate urself is that u tend to waste less food. It seems quite humiliating to pick up a plate having food and dump it. U are forced to think about that wasted food for sometime (read 15-20 sec) atleast and believe me, it makes a difference.
Another related aspect is that in some of the families, women of the house are supposed to clean up the table and put away all the plates. May be the number of such households are decreasing but they are still there. I think the first lesson of feminism should start right at home may be? :P I hope when our generation starts their families, they teach their children the right attitude.
In good faith :)