- Around Campus
- Around the Hub
- Opinions & Editorials
- The Week’s End
Second semester is well underway here at Emmanuel College and with the new semester came a “new” campus.
The construction on the Administration building is complete, so students and staff can now able to utilize the building to its full extent, disheveled offices are now back to their natural locations and the new elevator makes getting around a lot easier.
The student-raved Muddy River Café is now open and better than ever. The long-awaited return of this café meant that lines would be shorter in both the Atrium Cafe and the Yawkey Student Dining Room. However, the opening of the Muddy River Café has caused some changes to occur in the main dining hall and Atrium Café.
The operating hours of the Muddy River Café are 8am-6pm on Monday thru Thursday, 8am-2pm on Friday and is closed on both Saturday and Sunday. The Atrium, which used to be open during the day, is now only open 6pm-10pm. The Yawkey Student Dining Room now stops serving dinner at 7:30pm from Monday to Friday, while weekend hours remain the same.
With the new hours comes new pricing options as the Atrium no longer accepts meal swipes and the Muddy River Café does not have a “grab and go” sandwich station like the Atrium did. Not only are the hours inconvenient to most students, there is one more aspect to this cafeteria conundrum.
As of Tuesday, February 19, students are no longer allowed to take the ceramic dining room plates into the Atrium to eat. If students want to eat in the Atrium, they must use plastic plates, cups, and cutlery and they are not allowed back into the main dining hall for seconds, dessert or refills. There is no more “re-admittance” into the Yawkey Student Dining Room.
The Yawkey Student Dining Room was one of the few areas that did not receive any construction work over the past year, meaning the amount of seating available in the dining hall has not changed. Every student knows that during prime lunch and dinner rushes, seating is at a premium and that was when the upper JYC and Atrium were viable seating options.
According to one of the managers of Bon Appetit, the reasoning behind the new rule is that, since the Muddy River Café is open, there shouldn’t be a need for the extra seating. I also suspect that the new rule is following up on the complaints from staff and students that the abandoned plates of Atrium diners have led to a gross infestation of mice.
However, the flaw with this reasoning is that the Muddy River Café closes at 6pm. Many students have class, practices, and work that go until or well past 6pm. This makes the dining hall the only viable option but because of the limited hours at the Muddy River, there are always lines in the Yawkey Student Dining Room from 6pm until close.
This new rule will cause noticeable conflicts on Tuesdays and Thursdays during the school-wide activities period. With no classes for any student from 12:15-1:30, a large portion of the student body all try to get food at the same time. Lines in the Muddy River Café are long. The “newness” of the café has not yet worn off and students still flock there by the dozens and wait in line for (delicious) yet time consuming Panini’s and entrees. Seating is going to be a grave issue in the dining hall especially over the next couple weeks as the student body learns about this new rule.
It seems as if there is a touch of favoritism happening with this new rule. There is a class section that goes from 10:50-12:05 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The students that are out of class at 12:05 are going to be at a disadvantage to those that were not in class until 12:05. There may not be a seat for them inside the dining hall, and if that’s the case, then they will be forced to transfer their food to a plastic plate, and only be “allowed” to eat what is on their plate and not come back in for dessert or refills. However, they will still pay the same price as the “lucky” students that were able to secure a seat in the Yawkey Student Dining Room.
It will definitely be interesting to see how this situation unfolds and how students perceive it as the week goes on.