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Dining options to change during finals week

December 14, 2006

As UW-River Falls students buckle down and prepare to study for finals, food may be the last thing on their minds.

However, the closing of a popular student eatery, as well as changes in dining venues and hours of service next week, will affect the more than 2,300 students with campus meal plans.

Cascade Café in Rodli Commons is serving its final entrée Friday, Dec. 15. 

Rodli will then temporarily close for the weekend as power and plumbing in the café is disassembled and kitchen equipment is moved over to the new University Center.

Freddy’s Underground on the lower level of the Student Center will be the main dining establishment on campus Dec. 16 and 17.

The food choices offered at Freddy’s will be comparable to Cascade Café’s menu.

Jennifer Conde, Chartwells director of Dining Services, said scheduled weekend meal times are not affected.

“Hours of operation will be exactly the same [as in Cascade],” she said.

With a seating capacity “twice” the size of the café, room in Freddy’s shouldn’t be an issue for hungry students, said Jerry Waller, director of Dining Services.

“We’ll have no problem,” he said.

UWRF freshman Nick Niewinski, who lives in the West Area of campus in Johnson Hall, said he likes the idea of his final weekend meals of the semester being served closer to home.

“Being in Johnson, I think it’s a little bit more convenient,” he said. “I don’t have to go freeze to death walking to Rodli.”

Rodli’s Food Court re-opens Monday, just in time to meet the finals rush. Hours of service will remain the same.

Extended meal plan hours will also be offered next week, as well as the addition of a second Blimpie’s location to meet students’ schedules.

Evening meal plan transfer times are lengthened by one hour at Char’s Grille, which means the fast-food eatery will be open until 7:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

The Blimpie’s cart in Rodli opens for service at 10:30 a.m. Monday through Thursday — an hour earlier than normal.

“[It] is actually open more hours with the thoughts that some people will eat there to keep out of the dining rooms to help with the congestion,” Conde said.

A second Blimpie’s location at Brandy’s in the basement of the Student Center will be up and running beginning Sunday as an additional meal plan transfer option for students.

Hours Sunday evening are 4-7 p.m. Blimpie’s at Brandy’s will also be open Monday through Wednesday of finals week from 4-6:30 p.m.

“That’s a new bonus that [students] had not had before,” Conde said. 

Waller said despite the changes, students should be able to eat at their normal meal times.

“The standard times [students are] used to eating will not be adjusted,” he said.

UWRF freshman Ashley Maddix said with the extended meal plan hours, she’ll have more opportunities to gain some much-needed stamina for schoolwork.

“[It will] give me more energy to focus on studying, if I do study,” she said. 

Finals week dining schedules are available at cash registers in all campus dining establishments.

Waller said students should pick up a copy to lessen confusion.

“It will require a little bit of watching the schedule,” he said. “We’re doing our best to provide as much information ahead of time.”

Waller said Dining Services in the new University Center should be “up and operational” Jan. 16, the week before students return to campus for spring semester.

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