Waking up yesterday morning, I was definitely not expecting an email from Keith Orris, Vice President for Administrative Services, sent to all students about the changes made for the eateries on campus for the 2011 fall semester. I was shocked to find out that Crepes, located on the first floor in Barshinger Life Science and Philosophy Building, would be closing due to lack of business and traffic, and Jazzman’s hours would changed, which would cause the cafe to close a few hours earlier each night during the week. With so much flux in the economy, these changes were deemed necessary to reduce food costs.
The campus was abuzz with fury, confusion, and shock, as no one expected this change to happen. I could not walk through the College Center yesterday morning without hearing someone talk about this new hot topic, and it’s completely understandable as to why. As someone who has spent (and plans to spend) a lot of time in LSP, grabbing a crepe and a coffee before or after class was something that I looked forward to and needed every morning. I like to call it one of F&M’s little gems when pointing it out on my tours. The little eatery was also a place where students congregated throughout all hours of the day, serving as a small hub for students studying for an exam or conversing about their day. Furthermore, Jazzman’s is always filled with drained students looking for a jumpstart to their day or a refueling in the afternoon. Often times, I find myself parked upstairs on the second level on a couch until their current midnight closing time, writing a paper or relaxing before a long night of studying. It’s a peaceful, third space option for those of us who would rather not be stuck in the library every night to study.
To have these two great spaces on campus change their schedules (or disappear altogether) is very upsetting to many students, including myself. However, I have heard stories of how many were opposed to the change in Dip Deals last year. It seems, though, that there is little discussion of this now. Perhaps this is something that will blow over in the future once changes are implemented and put into practice? Furthermore, one thing that students are not openly talking about was the second part of the email. In it, Orris explains that the Diplomatic Congress was involved in the discussions of the changes and has expressed natural concerns about these changes. Orris explains that they were very helpful in discussion, providing a student’s point of view to the predicament, and that the Congress’s opinions do matter to them. Possible solutions that are currently being explored are a second beverage station on campus, as well as extended hours and more menu options at D-Hall.
We may not be fans of the planned dining changes, but is our anger and frustration only temporary? Or, rather, will it be something that spills into next semester as well?