Where can you find pre-med students who have a test the next morning in organic chemistry? You would think Rush Rhees. But, surprisingly enough, you will find that they, like many others, may be studying at Taco Bell while ravenously wolfing down greasy beef enchiladas. Where can you find students staying up all night trying to finish yet another CAS paper? I can bet that they may be sneaking into the Writing Fellows office and helping themselves to generous servings of donuts, soda, fruits and crackers left on the table. I’ve done it myself.

It’s a sad life that we as college students live after 2 a.m., foraging through the nooks and crannies of Gleason or Rush Rhees, to find an abandoned container of Milano cookies or a half-filled box of Cheez-its. After 3 a.m., the studying munchies kick in. We need that extra kick of sugar, carbohydrates or even caffeine to help us keep going. We can’t concentrate on the work in front of us but are inexorably fixated on the prospect of getting a plate of tatertots at Danforth at promptly 7:30 a.m. The Pit closes at midnight, the Corner Store at 1 a.m, Starbucks at 12:30 a.m., Connections at 10 p.m., Danforth at 8:30 p.m., Douglass at 8:30 p.m. and Hillside at 1 or 2 a.m., depending on the day. But what about all of that stagnant time between 2 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. when the campus is still bustling? How are we to satiate our pangs of starvation as we slave away in front of the computer screen for hours on end?

Many of us do not have the luxury of owning cars and briskly driving to the nearest 24-hour Dunkin’ Donuts on Mt. Hope Avenue or to the well-known Jay’s Diner in the wee hours of the night. The vending machines can only be so fulfilling, with their limited supply of Smart Water, candy and chips. On weekends, even Uncle Dickey’s generous servings of cheesy fries and hot dogs just don’t cut it. We sit in our rooms or in cubicles, silently sipping on our energy drinks and listening to our stomachs whine for food. The solution to all our troubles? Twenty-four hour food service stations on campus.
During reading period and finals week, I was overjoyed at having the convenience of running quickly down to Connections to buy a snack or a drink. It was nice to not have to request a friend to drive over to a take-out restaurant to pick up some food, make a 4 a.m. Wegmans run or have to ask your friends for some of their Tostitos and salsa.

I can see the troubles of having a 24-hour food location. There may not be sufficient employees to work or even sufficient funding. But perhaps introducing a food cart with sandwiches, microwaveable meals, fruits, vegetables and soft drinks, manned by one or two people in different shifts, can be of use to the River Campus community. Another possibility is to even have the Corner Store open 24 hours, seven days a week, providing students with a great variety of food choices at any time and worth their Declining dollars. Even extending the Pit’s hours or Douglass’s hours to 1 a.m. would give students the opportunity to stock up on meals for the night, if they do decide to stay up longer than they originally expected. We could even improve the choices in the vending machines, giving students a larger array of places to purchase food from.

While the thought may not seem readily feasible, the concept of introducing 24-hour food stations at UR should be heavily considered. Students will complain a lot less when their mouths are full and their stomachs are happy.

Venkateswaran is a member of
the class of 2011.

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