Institute extends on-campus dining hours

The front desk at the West Village dining hall on the west side of campus. West Village has come under fire from students in the past few months for long lines, poor hours and a generally dissatisfying dining experience. // Photo by Caitlin Aycock Student Publications

The Institute recently enacted changes to on campus dining halls and retail location hours for the rest of the year, lengthening the time that they will remain open for patrons to attend.

These changes come following a multitude of complaints from students about on campus dining, including long lines, under cooked food, and not being open long enough during the day or during weekends.

While the weekly hours have been adjusted, students still feel as though more could have been to improve the quality of life in regard to dining.

“I’m glad they extended the hours, they definitely had overcrowded lines at west village, and no food some times at the start of the semester, but it’s better now. I do wish they would’ve extended them [for West Village and North Avenue], and have Brittain open during the weekends, because that’s when I’m usually up later and want food late at night,” said Emma Hagerty, second-year BME.

Hagerty’s complaints are not unique, and many students have expressed concern over the difficulty of getting food during both the week and weekend. With the change to hours, however, the Institute hopes to change this.

In a campus announcement, the Institute noted that, “Changes to dining hall hours will allow Tech Dining to better allocate staffing resources.  Staff will now have more time to prepare stations for major meal periods and ensure enough food is available throughout meal rush periods.”

This change to better allocate staff resources is also an important factor in addressing the current dining situation, as many students have noticed that dining locations are not always staffed in accordance to their current needs.

“A better distribution of workers [would also make life easier]. I’ve seen that the smaller places like Kaldi’s, Whistle Bistro, and Rising Roll tend to be way over staffed, but then we’re eating off paper plates and plastic utensils in North Avenue because there’s no one staffed there to wash dishes,” noted Hagerty.

The changes have been in effective for a little over a week now, and there has already been a positive reaction to the changes from the student body, with many now having enough to either get breakfast before their classes at the nearest dining hall, or get to a dining hall for dinner after a late class before they close for the night.

However, despite the improvements to the hours, there still seems to be a problem with allocation of resources and lines around campus.

Many still experience long wait times during the peak hours at dining halls, while continuing to notice an increased presence at smaller restaurants that do not seem to need as many institute workers.

“I still don’t go to Willage during peak hours because of the lines,” said Hagerty, drawing attention to a problem many meal plan students still face.

While there are still a multitude of problems facing Institute dining, changes have been made following SGA’s push to address student concerns.

“Tech Dining worked with the Student Government Association to examine multiple options and determined that a shift in operational hours would improve service and offer an expanded options for the campus community,” said the Institute in an online statement.

Changes are still necessary to smooth inconsistency.

Students have expressed gratitude at the actions the Institute seems to be interested in taking to help alleviate any troubles the student body is experiencing. With every action taken, Tech dining seems to be taking steps in the right direction.

Albeit, they have been moving with a slower gait than some might have hoped for.