North Ave. Dining Hall cuts service

Tech students near North Ave. will need to look elsewhere for a late night snack or a hot breakfast this semester. GT Dining announced on Jan. 6, 2012, that the North Ave. Dining Hall (NADH) will close at 2 a.m. during the week and only offer a cold continental breakfast option in the morning.

The continental breakfast includes yogurt, a variety of cereals, donuts and other pastries, bagels and fresh fruit. Brittain Dining Hall will continue to serve hot breakfast and will add a second hot line each morning to compensate for the change in service at North Ave.

“I was very happy with North Ave. Dining Hall,” said Parker Vascik, a third-year AE major. “I think they did a great job, and now I’m disappointed that they’re already reducing its capabilities and capacity.”

Vascik took issue with the difference between how the dining hall has been portrayed by Tech and the services it offers.

“They’ve been using this dining hall as a selling point for Tech. It’s kind of hypocritical of them [to cut service],” Vascik said.

Rich Steele, Acting Executive Director for Auxiliary Services, defended the change in service by pointing to limited morning traffic at NADH compared to Brittain Dining Hall.

“We believe that we can provide a better breakfast program by focusing on hot breakfast items at Brittain, but still offer a broad continental breakfast option at North Ave,” Steele wrote in an email.

The price of the continental breakfast at North Ave. for those not on a meal plan is $6.76, the same as the hot breakfasts offered at Brittain and Woodruff. The continental breakfast will still count as one meal under the Limited Access 14, Limited Access 10 and Social Access 75 meal plans.

Michael Hodgson, a fourth-year AE major, is unhappy with the similarity in prices.

“You go to any of the other dining halls, and a hot breakfast is the exact same price as a continental breakfast.” Hodgson said. “It seems a little bit ridiculous to me.”

“While I do believe we offer more than sufficient quantity and quality of food to justify the price of breakfast, this is a topic that I will study further,” Steele wrote in response.

NADH will now open at 7 a.m. each morning during the week. Last semester, the Dining Hall stayed open from 4 p.m. on Sunday until 3 p.m. on Friday.

The 24-hour option at North Ave. was one of several locations on campus that provided a late night option. Waffle House in Tech Square, which opened in Summer 2010, is open all-day, everyday, and Auxiliary Services has kept the Starbucks in the Clough Commons open 24 hours during select days at the end of the semester. According to Auxiliary Services, the NADH’s late night traffic was too limited to justify continued operation.

“We evaluated the student traffic at [NADH] and found that fewer than five students per 15-minute time period were using the facility after 2 a.m. on average,” Steele said. “We believe most would agree that it is insensible to operate such a large facility for so few students.”

To provide input on future service changes and other dining initiatives, Auxiliary Services and SGA are launching a Dining and Retail Advisory Council next month.

“We’ve had the same student concerns coming to us,” said Eran Mordel, SGA Vice President of Campus Services. “The best way to address them is through the Dining and Retail Advisory Council.”