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Editorial

Hungry students left standing

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February 14, 2008

For students who want to grab a quick lunch and wish to be able to sit down in the Riverside Commons in the University Center, that is not always possible.

While we’ve had this beautiful, brand-new building for a little over a year, there are still some kinks that need to be worked out, including seating in the Commons area.

Daily, hundreds of students eat in the Commons, but it’s not always an easy place to eat.

The new Commons area is supposed to be able to seat as many people as both of the Rodli cafeterias used to. Although the room looks large, with lots of tables and places for students to sit, it’s still frustrating during busy times to have to stand around and wait for a table while your food gets cold.

The overcrowding in the Commons is not a problem during all the hours of service, but definitely during the peak dining hours. Around noon and 5:30 p.m. it’s extremely difficult to find seating, and one can often spend much of their time simply looking for a place to sit.

One way to solve that problem is for the consumers themselves. There are a number of tables set up for small groups of students and for larger ones. If you have a smaller group, don’t sit at the table for six.

Or, consumers could shove their meals down their throats to make room for those waiting. Forget chewing; that’s what the digestive process is for.

What we see as an easier solution would be this: allowing students to bring their lunch out into the lower level area of the University Center. It would greatly reduce the lack of seating during peak times.

The problem with the seating is with the University Center, but a solution could be made with a little bit of help from Chartwells.

Opening up more transfer options during high-volume times at Mondo, Coyote Jack’s and the Roots Café would not only expand dining options for students, but would also reduce the level of stress and chaos that the main dining center usually sees during rush times.

Students shouldn’t have to search so hard for a spot to sit and should have more options for eating transfer meals.

With the end of the Chartwells’ contract in sight, maybe the University should start listening to student suggestions before renewing the contract.