Many students on campus end a long day of classes by enjoying a meal with friends at one of Miami University’s dining halls. Others hope to stop in to grab a bite to eat in between classes during the day.
However, with the recent change in dining hall hours, this quick meal seems to no longer be a viable option for students.
Starting at the beginning of Miami’s spring semester, all dining halls changed their hours, limiting the time for students to eat. Instead of being open from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. during the week, dining halls now close at 2 p.m. and do not reopen until 5 p.m. Additionally, the dining halls now have more limited hours during the dinner hour, with each dining hall opening from 5 to 8 p.m. instead of the previous 4:30 to 8:30 p.m.
In an email to The Miami Student, Robin Jackson, director of operations at Miami, attributes these newly set hours to the number of students visiting the dining halls and understaffing.
“Our changes were based on the number of transactions during those times and staffing restraints,” Jackson wrote.
Because these times were the least busy last semester, they are now when the dining halls close to give their staff time to clean and prepare for the next meal.
While this may give the staff more time to clean the dining halls, some students now lack the opportunity to eat between classes. Zack Brandner, a first-year marketing and entrepreneurship co-major, said the new change in hours has limited the times he is able to go to the dining hall.
Prior to the change, students like Brandner used to go to the dining hall twice a day, once in the morning and once in between classes. Now, eating at the dining hall no longer fits into his schedule well.
“It’s hard to eat during the day now because it closes when I usually would have time to go … which is after class,” Brandner said.
Roman Smith, a first-year marketing and entrepreneurship co-major, agrees that the closing of the dining halls during weekdays is inconvenient to students operating on a busy schedule.
“I just feel like the dining halls should be working around our schedule as full-time students, not the other way around,” Smith said.
Dining hall workers like Tina, who preferred to be identified by first name only, however, are thankful for the time she and her staff get during the day, as it allows them to clean up in the dining hall in preparation for the next meal time.
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“I prefer the dining halls closing for a couple of hours during the day, but that’s just because it is easier for us to clean and refill while we are not being bombarded with students,” Tina said, “but I can see how that might not be so great for students.”
Other students like Abbie Harris, a first-year kinesiology and psychology co-major, are less affected by the dining halls closing during the day and more affected by the fact that all dining halls close at 8 p.m. every night instead of the previous 8:30 p.m.
“I find it frustrating when I am studying late. I can’t go grab food from the dining hall because it closes at 8 [p.m.], so I end up just eating in my room,” Harris said.
Students also noted frustration in places that take declining dollars, such as Pulley’s Diner located in Armstrong, being open much later than the dining halls and having less appealing options.
“Pully’s isn’t the healthiest option always, unlike the dining hall which usually has some good options,” Harris said.
However, many students like Harris and Smith are unsure of how to voice their opinion. Neither student has considered speaking to an Associated Student Government representative or someone who would be able to enact change on campus.
“It is what it is,” Harris said. “We can’t change it, so we just go find something else to eat on campus.”
Jackson says there has been a minimal amount of complaints made pertaining to the change in dining hall hours. Feedback plays heavily into the setting of the dining halls’ hours.
“We will continue to monitor the situation and make adjustments if necessary to ensure that our dining hall hours accommodate the needs of our students,” Jackson wrote.
The recent change in dining hall hours is due to Aramark controlling the food and beverage services on Miami’s campus. Miami’s dining hall hours can be found on the Campus Services page of Miami’s website under the title “Hours.” For more information on the current dining hall hours, visit this website.