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February 16, 2024

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Students fend for yourselves

N ine days until the end of the semester and the mood on campus is a combination of elation and anxiousness.

Students are hurrying to finish final projects, pack up their dorm rooms, cram for finals and buy as much bulk food as they can with what’s left on their meal plans.

But what many of them may not realize is come Friday afternoon, that bulk food will come in handy.

This is because after 2 p.m. Friday, most dining halls will shut down, leaving students without cash on hand unable to eat until they move out on Saturday.

Not completely unable, of course. They can still hike to the Union or Chily’s, which will remain open until 6 p.m. Or, those students who read this can plan ahead and be sure to head to the ATM so they can hit up McDonald’s on Friday night.

But realistically, the dining halls are just putting students in a bad position.

The last final of the week doesn’t even end until 5:30, so those students will be hardpressed to even make it to the Union and grab some dinner.

While Dining Services surely has very good reasoning behind their decision, they should consider offering a few more options for students who cannot leave until Saturday afternoon.

As an out-of-state student, I know my family has to make a fairly significant drive down to get me and all my stuff. A drive which couldn’t be accomplished on a weekday because of my parent’s work schedules and my younger brothers’ school schedule.

My biggest concern is breakfast, the most important meal of the day. The University is leaving students with options like a greasy Burger King Croissanwich or a McDonald’s McGriddle.

I’m not saying they should be staying open with full hours and full lines, but at least provide an option to those students who are left without the ability to leave early.

Maybe even opening up one line in the Sundial for those 3,200 people living in the quads and one in McDonald. Just enough to ensure students are given the opportunity to eat something before they spend all moving out.

I understand the reasoning that there aren’t enough students to financially warrant staying open, but leaving students 24 hours without access to food? That seems a little cold-hearted to me.

Even during finals week, some dining centers are shutting down completely, including Harshman’s Destinations snack bar and Commons.

Even Wednesday of finals week, the Sundial is shutting down both the Wok and the Bistro for good.

As a matter of fact, the only dining center that seems to be moving in the right direction is Shadows, Kreischer’s late night snack bar.

I have to give props to this establishment which actually extended their hours. Yes, Shadows will be open from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of finals week. They are also opening one of the spare rooms, the 9 p.m. room, for student who want to utilize the space for studying.

If more dining centers catered to the needs of students, rather than how much money they’re bringing in, they might just see an increase in usage of their facilities.

Dining Services needs to realize this is a hectic time for students and faculty alike. They are in need of regular meals that re-energize the body and the mind.

They also need more leniency with hours. Never is someone more prone to miss out on a meal than when they are buried nose deep in research, flashcards and coffee.

I challenge Dining Services to go out on a limb for students. Try it out, just once, and see if your sales are really as bad as you think.

Send comments to Amanda at [email protected].

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