Editorial: Should There Be More Time To Dine On Campus?


Kayleigh Dewey

The AIC Dining Commons, where potential late night meals could be served

Kayleigh Dewey, Staff Writer

As many are aware, there are two main food destinations on the AIC campus: the Dining Commons  and the Hive. Both locations offer many great options, including a wide variety of food from different cultures. But where is the variety in meal times? The Dining Commons on campus is open until 7:30pm on weekdays and 7:00pm on weekends. On the other hand, the Hive is open until 10:00pm on weekdays with no service on weekends. And while for some students this works out with their meal times, these may not be compatible with every student’s schedule.

The Dining Commons serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner with some options that are available all day long–like cereal and fruit. Typically there is a period of down time in the dining hall which is about an hour long when there is a switch from one meal to the next. These down times are usually at 11:00am and 3:00pm. However, these are usually a conflicting time for some students’ schedules. I find that most students are either returning from their morning classes at 11:00 or returning from afternoon classes around 3:00pm.

This is not the only viable issue with the meal times. The Dining Commons closes at 7:30pm every weekday. While this may seem late for some people, this is considerably early for college students. I would say your average college student goes to bed around midnight, if not later. When interviewing students, I discovered that many students do not eat dinner at the Dining Commons because by the time they eat lunch during the day, it is too early for them to be eating dinner.

Abigail Gaudreau, a first-year student living on campus, said, “By the time I am done with my day and actually get down to the Dining Commons, it is usually closed or they are starting to close and the food isn’t too fresh anymore.”

And what about our student athletes? Typically student athletes have a practice and a lift session each day that can vary in times. Some student athletes won’t return back to the main campus after a six o’clock lift until about 7:00pm. By the time the student showers and makes their way to the Dining Commons, it is closed. So where does this leave students to get their food? The Hive.

The Hive is a dining location on campus where students can use their dining dollars to purchase a meal or snacks. Items at the Hive are reasonably priced. You can usually get a meal for $8-$10. As an alternative to purchasing a meal, students can also choose to use a meal swipe. This is considered a “free meal,” with limited options in what you can pick to eat.

A meal equivalency option consisting of chicken tender and fries. (Kayleigh Dewey)

Lisandra Cruceta, a first year student, said, “I wish there were more options… I don’t want to eat chicken tenders or a sandwich all the time. And what about students that are vegan?” The Hive’s meal swipe option only offers one vegan meal swipe option for students.

Students want to see a variety, perhaps with a changing menu or with changing options for meal swipes. While the Hive is open later than the Dining Commons, 10:00pm is still somewhat early for college students. Each student is allotted three hundred dining dollars per semester. But what is a student to do if it is 8:00pm on a Wednesday and they haven’t eaten dinner and don’t have any dining dollars or meal swipes?

The AIC Dining Commons, where potential late night meals could be served. (Kayleigh Dewey)

Elandro Garzone, another first-year student, said, “I think there should be some kind of late-night options, like comfort food. It doesn’t have to be a meal, just something for the people that need to eat late at night.”

I am certain that if a late-night option was offered to students that more people would go to bed having eating dinner, or at least having eaten something that night. The Hive is a nice change from the Dining Commons food, but it is not open on the weekends. I feel as though there needs to be another place where students can use their dining dollars besides the Hive that is open on weekends. Or maybe there could be some special options on the weekends, such as a food truck coming to campus. The worst thing is to be up at midnight after studying long and hard and not having some kind of food to eat (that isn’t instant mac and cheese).

I have heard of other college dining halls doing a late night-menu, and I find that would be highly beneficial to the students on our campus. Not only would it solve some late-night hunger, but it’s a way for people to come together and socialize. Think about it: one day you can tell your kids that you met your lifelong best friend over some pancakes at 11:00pm in the college Dining Commons.