Saturday, April 20, 2024

To students’ frustration, student center dining offers limited hours

NewsCampus NewsTo students’ frustration, student center dining offers limited hours

Staff Reporter

Perkins and Trabant, the student centers on campus, are a place for students to meet up with friends, study and grab a bite to eat. Students are in and out of these locations throughout the day, with busy schedules, hard classes and a lot to manage. Oftentimes, students seek out food and need a break at Perkins or Trabant, but find that dining accessibility at these centers is limited. 

Multiple members of the freshman class, who have meal plans and meal swipes described the access to these restaurants as “inconvenient,” “annoying” and “difficult.” 

Many students feel that places such as Flip Kitchen in Perkins and Chick-Fil-A in the Trabant food court, among others, need to have better hours. Sometimes freshmen have a hard time finding convenient places to eat, because of the hours of food locations, especially on the weekends. 

The student center locations are closed on the weekends along with Russell Dining Hall, leaving only Caesar Rodney Fresh Food Company  and Pencader Residential Dining open on the weekends. On Saturday and Sunday, these dining halls are open at 10:30 a.m. and are closed from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. In addition, meal exchanges happen after 5 p.m. during the week. 

Cameron Wagner, a freshman who also participates in the university’s marching band, shared her viewpoint on the hours of Perkins and Trabant dining. 

“I am in marching band so we practice at weird hours and it is awful for me and my friends since we can’t necessarily always get food from the dining hall, ” Wagner said. 

Wagner also offered an idea on how to improve the hours of campus dining. 

“I would rather have them [restaurants] be closed in the middle of the day and open later at night,” Wagner said.

Another freshman, Ian Levine, agreed with Wagner that keeping the student center food locations open later at night would be helpful.

“Have them open later at night, maybe 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.,” Levine said.

College students often stay up late doing homework and have club meetings and activities around dinner time. Getting to the dining hall by 8:30 p.m. every night for dinner is not always possible. 

Perkins and Trabant food locations are more accessible during the week, so students are able to order food from them during the day and use meal exchanges at night. The weekends are when the problem of inconvenient hours becomes most noticeable.

Freshman Evie Ceese frequently asks herself, “Where can I get food?”

“It is really sucky because every weekend you are spending money to get a good meal when you should be able to get it at a student center,” Ceese said. 

Both Wagner and Ceese mentioned that Main Street seems to be one of the only options at certain times on weekends. 

“Main Street is expensive,” Wagner said. 

Students also are strong advocates for changes in times when meal exchanges are available. Right now, meal exchanges happen after 5 p.m. during the week. Students, specifically those who don’t always want to eat in the dining hall, said that meal exchanges should be open at other times to make grabbing food easier. 

“We are already paying for an expensive dining hall plan and you shouldn’t be charged more just because you want to get food when meal exchanges aren’t available,” Wagner said. 

Wagner brings up this point to show that when meal exchanges aren’t available, students have to either use their dining points or pay money for food.

Ceese emphasized how being able to grab food when on the run to classes or activities during the day is important. Being able to use meal swipes at locations on campus other than dining halls will make this more convenient and not break the bank.  

“This would be so helpful to get food fast, but not spend any money,” Ceese said.

“It would be a great idea, and would make a lot more options and also add convenience to eat whenever or wherever I want,” Levine said. 

Overall, many students feel that an increase in the accessibility of the restaurants in Perkins and Trabant can make their day flow without having to worry about rushing to eat in the times when they are open or accepting meal exchanges. They say that it would increase food options beyond dining hall meal swipes for lunch and decrease the stress of spending extra money. 

“If the student restaurants were open on the weekends for a short amount of time in the evening, it would be helpful for a lot of people who can’t get to the dining hall,” Ceese said. 




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