Recent dining service closings during both Meliora Weekend and Fall Break demonstrate a lack of communication with and lack of understanding of customers’ needs. On a weekend where the River Campus accomodates thousands of visitors, every effort should be made to indicate where food and other services are available. At a time where all events and even the restrooms had signs indicating their locations, it was disappointing to see little or no information regarding available dining options. During Fall Break, Hillside Caf, the Meliora, Club Express and Common Ground Caf were closed. A significant number of students on campus were denied food options, and could only dine at Danforth Dining Center or the Pit. There was also no place on campus to get any freshly-brewed coffee or other coffee drinks, as the only coffee option was from the serve-yourself carafes found at the entrance to the Pit. It is understandable that with fewer students on campus some services would be closed due to lack of student workers. However, more full-time workers should have been brought in to work in place of the missing student workers, especially in the heavily student-run Common Ground Caf. Consideration should have been given to opening the Java City cart and Hillside Caf at a lesser capacity. These changes could have been implemented ahead of time if there was a better understanding of customer needs. While efforts have been made to solicit input from students, Dining Services and ARAMARK should work actively to address student concerns. Without successful communication, both sides may be left unsatisfied.

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