Quick Takes: Two Dining Halls Closing on Weekends

Students Will Need Weekend Options


Beginning Fall 2012, Ocean View Terrace and Plaza will be closed on weekends in order to extend their weekday hours without raising prices on food. Though slightly inconvenient for students living in Revelle and Marshall, there are still quality options available to them as long as the dining halls and markets nearby are able to compensate for the extra influx of students they will receive on weekends.

Marshall students are most opportunely located for next year’s closure. Not only are they positioned between two full-service dining halls, Pines and Café Ventanas, but they will also still have the luxury of the open-late Goody’s within the boundaries of their own college. Unfortunately, it’s mostly Revelle students who will get the short end of the stick in Housing, Dining and Hospitality’s new plan. Besides Roger’s Place and Market (which doesn’t serve hot items), the only dining hall close to them is Pines. 

The weekend closures will not be a big deal as long as the remaining dining halls, especially the ever-popular Pines, make accommodations to handle the increased numbers of students over the weekends. More staff will need to be scheduled for the weekend to make sure lines stay short, and fresh food remains readily available. It’s common knowledge that because dining halls have less traffic on the weekends, food can end up sitting under heat lamps for longer than they should have to be. An effort to improve the quality of food options on weekends must happen. As long as accommodations are made, walking a little extra to the next closest dining hall will only be a minor inconvenience to most students.

Chelsey Davis
Staff Writer

Time to Stop Opening New Food Places

Housing, Dining and Hospitality Services (HDH) will soon close two dining halls on weekends, while extending weekday hours. Closing Plaza and Ocean View Terrace during slow hours may be fiscally favorable, but the creation of new inconvenient “specialty” dining locations is counterproductive.

Recently, various dining locations like Roots, The Bistro, Club Med and the brand new Café 88 have opened across campus, featuring modern architecture and unique dishes — but limited hours of service. These places aren’t as useful to students as the main dining halls. Roots, for example, serves vegan food that only appeals to a certain portion of the campus population. And while the Bistro is a nice luxury, it is also an unnecessary one. Furthermore, none of these sites are open on weekends, and all close in the early afternoon on Fridays. These sites are inconvenient for students because of their minimal hours and locations on the outskirts of the main campus.

Constructing specialty dining locations has cost HDH thousands of dollars — Roots itself cost over $790,000 to build. If HDH is at such a loss that it must resort to closing a couple of dining halls completely on the weekends, it should not be investing money into new, limited dining ventures. Specialty dining halls are not vital and are viewed by students as only a substitute to the main campus dining halls. 

HDH may be in a strap for cash, but it needs to reevaluate how it is allocating its funds. Refraining from building specialty dining locations is a lot wiser than cutting funds from the dining halls that already exist.

— Revathy Sampath-Kumar
Staff Writer 

Closures are Smart Financial Move

In an ongoing struggle to balance dining hall hours and its budget, the Housing, Dining and Hospitality (HDH) staff and the Undergraduate On-Campus Housing and Dining Advisory Committee decided on Feb. 27 to close down Ocean View Terrace (OVT) and Plaza on the weekends starting Fall 2012. Closing a couple dining halls is a strong financial move (fewer total operating hours in the school year), considering a small minority of students eat there on the weekends anyway. 

These two dining halls will also open 30 minutes earlier and close an hour later on weekdays. However, 39 percent of students eat at Pines on the weekends according to HDH Executive Director Mark Cunningham, implying that a majority of students from Revelle already choose to eat at a dining hall other than Plaza. This is an apt financial move for the school because most students have options to go to other dining halls other than the one in their college, which they apparently often enjoy more.

This move will allow HDH to cut down on the costs of extra electricity, staff and surpluses of food by opening for fewer total hours. The closures also will not affect demand on the weekdays. Students will still be able to go to these two dining halls during the week, and since the demand is far less on the weekends, HDH will reap many benefits from their decision.

Ultimately, the benefits of more hours during the week for OVT and Plaza Cafe outweigh the costs of them closing down on the weekends. 

— Andy Liu
Contributing Writer 

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