For college students, the dining hall is a large part of daily life. Being the main source of food on campus, it is important that it be well managed, full of good food, and be easily accessible to everyone.
The dining hall in the McCarthy Center of our campus is some of these things. Though it is well managed, maintained, and cleaned thoroughly, and has good meals most of the week, one thing that it is not – is accessible.
The FSU dining hall opens at 7:30 a.m., which is a fairly reasonable time to allow students with an 8:30 a.m. class to get in a good meal. On the other hand, the dining hall stops serving dinner around 7 p.m., compared to almost every other college or university in the country that has “late night hours.”
With the lack of food after 7 p.m., and the latest classes ending at almost 9:30 p.m., how are students that have been in class all day supposed to acquire their last meal?
There are some options such as Sandella’s and The Grille, which stay open until 12 a.m. on most nights, but the options in both are limited or unhealthy all together.
On many nights when my lab ends anywhere from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., I am forced to either eat snacks in my room to tide myself over until breakfast the next day, or pay more money on top of the money I am already paying for a meal plan in order to get something decent for dinner.
Given all of this information, I would recommend keeping the dining hall open until 30 minutes after the last class gets out. This would give students a chance to quickly grab a meal before going back to their dorms for the night.
Though this would require more staff in the dining hall as well as more food and more money to go into the operation as a whole, there are many options to fix the big problem.
One option could be adding a reasonable sum of money into the price of each meal plan. This extra money could be put towards hiring more people to work in the dining hall as well as pay for the food required to keep it open later.
Another option is to add a larger variety of food to either Sandella’s or The Grille. The options as they stand right now are OK at best.
The food at The Grille is good and fast, but very unhealthy, and Sandella’s has a good thing going with R.A.M.S. on the RUN, but there aren’t many options to fill the bags you are buying.
By adding more food options to both of these places, I feel as though students would be more content and wouldn’t be so unhappy with the dining hall hours.