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Friday, January 28, 2022

Opinion

High time for midnight, weekend dining options for UH students


David Delgado//The Daily Cougar

David Delgado//The Daily Cougar

Anytime I have a conversation with someone who is considering coming to UH, especially incoming freshmen, I recommend that they stay on campus forat least one year so that they can have easy access to all the different resources.

One such resource is the access to food options here at UH.

These food options include the restaurants in the University Center Satellite, the two dining halls, Chinese Star, Eric’s Restaurant, McAlister’s, Subway, Pizza Hut, Taco Cabana, Murphy’s Deli and Barron’s Restaurant.

During the week, finding food is no problem; on the weekends, however, the food options and the hours of operations change.

Despite the many food options on campus, students are still heard having issues with the hours of operation as well as the lack of weekend options.

The main complaint toward the dining halls on campus is the shorter operating hours on Friday and Saturday.

“In general, I’m fine with (the dining options),” said creative writing junior Travis Kane. “But during the weekends, I don’t like that they close at 10 p.m.”

The response from students about how they felt about the food options on campus varied, but most students were also unhappy that the UC Satellite closes for the weekend.

Psychology and creative writing junior Nicollette Greenhouse understands students’ slight struggle for weekend food options.

“I do hear people complain that there are less food options on weekends than on weekdays. I think it would do well to keep them open. I know a lot of students do go home on weekends, but I think the people who are here would prefer it.”

Though I understand students’ being bothered by the closure of the UC Satellite on weekends, there are many other food options on campus that are open on weekends.

No, they are not open 24 hours a day, but they do remain open until reasonable hours.

Students need to be willing to venture out of the comfort of the Fresh Food Company if they want late-night food on campus.

While Fresh Food does close at 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, it is open until midnight on Sunday through Thursday, and Cougar Woods is open until 10 p.m. every day. Eric’s Restaurant, located in the Hilton, is also open seven days a week until 10 p.m., and Chinese Star is open until 9:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

In addition, the Pizza Hut across from the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center is open until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays and until 11 p.m. for the rest of the week.

When the fantasy of a 24-hour food service was mentioned, students were enthusiastic about this. In a perfect world, this 24-hour on-campus food option would cater to students’ needs — especially during finals week — and would provide a place to relax and eat food at any time of the night.

UH isn’t the only campus that has limited hours on food choices, but of the few universities that does have a 24-hour food service is Kent State University in Ohio.

Rosie’s Diner and Market is located on Kent State’s campus and accepts the campus dining card.

Realistically, if dining places were to keep midnight hours on weekdays and weekends, they would have to bring in enough revenue from the students during these late hours in order to pay for employees to cater to the night-owl students’ appetites.

Though it is unlikely that this would happen, a brighter future for famished students who live on campus is on the horizon.

With the completion of Phase One construction of the New UC in January, five new food options will be opening as well. These food options will include Panda Express, McDonald’s, Chick-Fil-A, Starbucks and another campus convenience store.

While the hours of operation for these places has not been set in stone, it has been said that some will be open later.

The hours will be decided this Friday in a meeting with the Food Service Advisory Committee.

Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Keith Kowalka spoke with excitement concerning the opening of the New UC and its food options.

“My sense is that the students and even the Aramark staff know that there will be some increased hours, probably particularly with the C-Store, McDonald’s and Starbucks,” Kowalka said. “My sense is that they will have two concepts open on weekends.”

Also, with Phase Two, which will open between nine months and a year after Phase One, they hope to open a 24-hour lounge area.

Hopefully, this lounge area will be an indication of increased food service hours.

When the New UC opens, students will have new food options to consider, as well as hopefully having their hunger needs better met with possible later hours.

Opinion columnist Kelly Schafler is a print journalism junior and may be reached at [email protected]

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