Winter weather, fence leads to changes in dining habits

Winter weather, fence leads to changes in dining habits

Elysabethe Brown, Editor-in-Chief

With temperatures dropping into the low teens, students are reluctant to make the trek all the way to the Main Dining Hall, especially when their walk is blocked by a large fence.

The fence, which is here to make way for the new Learning Commons, has altered students’ dining patterns.

Tom Notchick, resident district manager for Chartwells, he thought the combination of cold temps. and a longer walk around the fence were impacting students’ decisions about where to dine.

“I think [the weather] plays a huge role. In the spring when it’s warm, I don’t think students [will] care about the fence. I don’t think that’s a big deal, you don’t really have to walk that far out of your way across campus. But when it’s cold and windy and snowing, a couple steps add up,” he said.

Notchick said that the numbers for the Main Dining Hall have not dropped significantly.

“Our cash customers, that really has not dropped off, not anything that I would turn around and be alarmed about,” he said.

He said that from week to week there has been about a $50 difference in the amount taken in.”

So I’d say our cash customer business is pretty solid to where it was,” he added.

Some students agree that these factors are affecting their dining choices on campus. Rachel James, sophomore criminal justice major, said she usually eats at First Stop.

“I live in Regina, so it’s convenient,” she said.

She said eating at the Main Dining Hall is “such a hassle,” but wouldn’t mind so much if the fence was not there.

Other students are not so bothered by the fence, such as Quintin Klenchick, junior Biology major, who prefers to eat at First Stop, even though he lives at the other end of the fence in The Woodlands.

“First Stop is quicker with my classes and the schedule that I have,” he said.

Notchick added that the number of students who eat in the Main Dining Hall usually drops in the spring semester because of students studying abroad, internships, or student teaching.

“The dining hall is typically meal plans, there is some cash, but it’s not a ton,” said Notchick. “People that are on campus that are spending cash typically go to one of the other restaurants on campus, one of the ala carte restaurants.”

Dennis Kowalski, supervisor of First Stop, agreed that it is becoming a larger part of students’ dining habits. He said he has noticed more people in First Stop since construction began.

“Due to construction and winter [weather], I would say there are at least 25 percent more people [at First Stop],” said Kowalski.

Places to eat on campus:

The Main Dining Hall, located at the bottom floor of Nazareth, is open Monday through Friday, serving Lunch from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Dinner from 4:40 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Late Night from 7:30 p.m. to 12 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, serving Brunch is served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Dinner from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

  • Connections, located on the top floor of Nazareth, is open Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • The Study Grounds, located in The Library, is open Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sunday 2 p.m. to 2 a.m.
  • The First Stop, located on the bottom floor of Liberal Arts Center, is open Monday through Thursday 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Friday 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • The Atrium, located on the bottom floor of McGowan, is open Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Friday 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.