Student Association (SA) and Sodexo are considering expanding late night dining options.
SA President Josh Simpson and Vice President Manuel Tejada recently met with Ralph Perez Rogers, a Sodexo representative, to discuss student concerns about late night dining in the Student Union (SU). Long lines, high prices and few options were all among the issues raised, Simpson said.
He said lack of variety was one of the larger concerns brought up by SA at their meeting with Sodexo.
With the closing of Hawk Street Station, students lost access to a hot dinner item on week nights, Simpson said. While the SU does offer many dining options, he said, many students have felt it is insufficient. Currently, Pandini’s is offering a hot dinner item similar to those found in Hawk Street Station and the Grille has begun offering speciality burgers.
“Now we won’t be eating the same thing for dinner that we ate for lunch,” Simpson said.
Nicholas Andersen, a fourth-year music theory major, said he supports these changes.
“It’s about time — [Hawk Street Station] has been closed for two months now,” Andersen said. “I’m glad we’re finally getting a replacement.”
Another issue raised was pricing. Students on the five meal per week plan rely on Dining Dollars to purchase most of their meals. Simpson said if these students begin to run low on funds, there is little they can do to save money.
The Grille will soon be offering a Blue Plate Special to give students a less expensive option, Simpson said. This special will consist of a food item and a drink, which students can purchase together at a reduced cost. He said this is intended to benefit students who have fallen behind on their Dining Dollars and need to catch up.
Long lines in the SU during the afternoon and evening seem to be a constant source of frustration for students, according to Simpson. Simpson said although there are many factors which lead to the lines being as long as they are, Sodexo has said they will begin hiring additional staff in hopes of expediting the process of ordering food during busy hours.
Although the changes are relatively small, Simpson and Tejada said they feel this is a step in the right direction. SA will continue to work with Sodexo to further improve campus dining further.
“This is the best the food’s been,” Simpson said. “But there’s always room for improvement.”
Enrique Varona, a third-year creative writing major, agreed.
“I think it’s a bit silly that it took this long for things to change,” he said. “But it’s nice to see an effort being made.”
Tejada urged students to continue making their opinions known if they wish for additional changes to be made. He said students can speak to a member of SA or the Student Concerns Committee by going to their office located in SU 419.