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Students need flexible dining hours

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editorial cartoon by Danielle De Luna

editorial cartoon by Danielle De Luna

While it is a long-running notion that students often gain the “Freshman 15” when they move to college, equipped with so few dining options on campus students at the University of La Verne may actually be more prone to losing the 15 than gaining it.

Barbara’s Place offers a quick and convenient alternative to the dining hall, though it is sometimes far too busy to be convenient, and not every student has a surplus of Leo Dollars or is able to regularly pay out-of-pocket, making it an unsustainable solution. 

Our University’s only dining hall, The Spot, is open on weekdays from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. serving breakfast, lunch and dinner supplemented with “Continuous Dining” hours in between. The continuous hours sounds like a good idea in theory but is lacking in execution. Entrées are not usually served during these continuous hours, leaving students to pick from the grill and salad bar to find something to fill their bellies with. 

Though The Spot does have greater food options during the breakfast, lunch and dinner hours, these are short-lived. Breakfast starts at 7 a.m. and lasts until 9:30 a.m. Lunch is from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Dinner from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. with Late-Night-Grill open until 8 p.m. 

Even during these hours, there is no guarantee that the food will not be put away if you arrive toward the end of service.

Breakfast should be the most simple meal to make and should therefore be relatively inexpensive to maintain for another hour.

 It is also astounding that lunch is only served for two hours. While students do have varying schedules which makes setting durations difficult, it would still be beneficial to lengthen lunchtime hours to provide a greater window for students with classes throughout the morning and early afternoon.

Many courses offered at the University are only available as night classes, which makes eating dinner between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. an unrealistic goal. The grill can only provide so much and students need more than just three different kinds of french fries for dinner. Dinner needs to be open later. 

Short hours of service paired with questionable quality makes The Spot an undesirable option. While rescheduling dining hours may prove to be a logistical challenge, the University could also follow suit with other schools.

Nearby, Chapman University offers seven dining options on top of its dining hall. These options include Jamba Juice, Starbucks and Qdoba, in addition to other various grab-and-go cafes. All of these options can also be paid with using students’ “Panther Bucks.” 

While the newly christened Randall Lewis Center is a step in the right direction for alternative food options on campus, at this point the food there is still not included in the University’s meal plan. 

When Circle K is the best affordable option outside of the designated meal times, something is very clearly wrong with the University’s options.

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