UR Dining Services is in the process of implementing changes to the dining options on the River Campus and at the Eastman School of Music, in response to student suggestions.
Many of the changes are in response to concerns raised during last month’s reading and exam period. Students were concerned about the reduction of services and hours at the end of the semester, according to Director of Campus Dining Services & Auxiliary Operations Cam Schauf.
“We asked ourselves whether we are providing the same level of service during the exam period as we usually do,” Schauf said.
The reduction in services included cut backs in operating hours of The Pit and the Java City cart at Rush Rhees Library once the academic year ended. Schauf noted that once the academic year ends Dining Services alters its schedule, anticipating a reduction in demand.
“We offered more than we did last year, but we know better than to take away services before running it by students,” Schauf said.
Adding to the frustration of students was when their dining options decreased on campus for the duration of the stressful reading and exam period.
“The dining centers and Corner Store started to run out of food weeks before the end of the semester,” junior Hilary Bonaccorsi said. “Even worse, the coffee shops and the ITS cart were closed for most of finals week. Every night I had to wait for Hillside to open and then spend another 45 minutes of study time in line for coffee.”
Continuing, she said, “Even when The Pit was open they didn’t have any lunch meats and the drink cases were always empty.”
Junior Sanjay Patal was also concerned about the reduction in food service hours.
“Students at this university work very hard to do well on their exams, especially their final exams,” Patal said. “Having to search around campus for coffee and other forms of sustenance during finals week makes studying an even more daunting task.”
According to Schauf, much of the confusion stemmed from a lack of communication.
“Some of the shortages came from a lack of marketing,” Schauf said. “The ITS cart closed at noon but The Pit had coffee. We need to do a better job of communicating changes. None of us are comfortable with that as an excuse.”
During the next reading and exam period, Schauf hopes to work more closely with the Registrar’s office to determine how to best schedule dining center service hours to meet the needs of students coming out of exams.
“What we didn’t think about is when exams end,” Schauf said. “If a big exam ends at eight and The Pit closes at eight, people have to go to Hillside, which does not have that type of capacity.”
Additional changes in meal service are being implemented across the River Campus and at Eastman, according to Aramark Guest Service Manager David Feist.
In addition to new meal options across campus, the Dining Services Web site will be updated soon.
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