With GT Dining looking at discontinuing late-night dining and hot breakfast at the North Avenue Dining Hall (NADH) in Fall 2012, dining on campus needs to be reevaluated with an eye toward what students really need.
Students ultimately need food options late at night. If it’s not financially viable, getting rid of the NADH’s late night option is perfectly understandable. However, that leaves Tech students to fend for themselves for late-night food. If Tech has a library that’s open for 24 hours and classes that require students to use it, there should be somewhere students can go to get some kind of food after normal dining hours. Such an option would not need to be comprehensive; expanding the food selection at Starbucks or replacing Jazzman’s with a Buzz-By grab-and-go would be more than sufficient. Since students in housing presumably have their own food for those hours, options in the center of campus would make more sense, so people working late could get something more than a candy bar.
It is important to keep in mind that GT Dining has complete control over students’ late-night options. Many of the options students used to have for late-night meals — like Quizno’s and Wingnuts — are no longer nearby, and the only option is Waffle House, which is not close enough to the center of campus to make it good for a quick bite.
Dining should also reevaluate the value of the options it offers campus. Specifically, if it gets rid of the hot breakfast options at NADH, aspects of the pricing and quality scheme need to be modified. As it is, the cold breakfast it offers costs the same as a hot breakfast elsewhere on campus, which makes little sense, considering the high cost relative to the value of the meal. While Sodexo is an outside contractor, its overall performance and quality reflect on the Institute, both in terms of recruiting and the well-being of current students. Therefore, Dining should insist that Sodexo maintain a wide variety of options at a high level of quality.