New start for late night dining

Plans are on the table for late night dining in the residential dining halls, instead of the current fare at Hutch Commons.

By Rebecca Guterman

A trial-version late night dining program in residential dining halls may replace the current bill of fare at Hutch Commons later this quarter.

The new initiative follows a year of disappointing numbers for the late night dining menu currently offered at Hutch. According to Campus Dining Advisory Board (CDAB) student head and second-year Gabe Panek, the pilot would be an attempt to better meet students’ desire for late night campus dining.

CDAB is composed of administrators, as well as Student Government (SG) and Inter-house Council representatives.

“We’re trying to get a better understanding of what students want and what’s doable,” Director of Communications and Operations for Housing and Dining Richard Mason said. Mason also acknowledged that the offerings in Hutch were not palatable to students hungry for late night food.

The dining halls will provide burgers, pizza, and breakfast foods, according to Inter House Council minutes.

Many students say they would take advantage of late night dining in dining halls.

“The biggest thing for me is just convenience,” first-year Matt McDonald said. McDonald added that he would eat at South Campus dining hall, but that the other dining halls were just as far away as Hutch, if not farther. Under the proposed plan, late night dining would rotate between all three residential dining halls.

Fourth-year and Student Government president Greg Nance said he often eats at late night dining in Hutch, and supports a new initiative for late night dining at residential dining halls. “The diners would be really convenient, especially for underclassmen who eat there during the day. I would love to see plans for how to expand [late night dining],” Nance said.

Panek thinks the pilot will be beneficial because the late night offerings will be covered under student meal plans. Panek also pointed out that Hutch’s success might have suffered because it is difficult to see if the area is open when the rest of the Reynolds Club is closed late at night.

“Hutch has to be a destination for students who already know it’s there, whereas people pass the dining halls much more often and could see the lights on,” Panek said. “South Campus would have a great visual, because everyone could see it was open and the light through the glass as they pass by.”

With the University’s current contract with Aramark expiring this summer, the new program would come as the University considers proposals from four food companies. Mason said he is seeking student input on how to include late night dining into the new dining contract.