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Opinion: Saturdays are not for the dining halls

Courtesy of Clemson University Housing and Dining
Image form the Clemson University Housing and Dining Website

If you live on campus, you’re very aware of where you can eat throughout the day. If you’re without a car, like I was last year, you are very aware of WHEN you can eat throughout the day. Want to grab a bite using a meal swipe throughout the week? You’re basically set, as all dining halls have fairly regular hours. Opening around 7 a.m. and closing around 9 p.m., you should have enough time to grab some cereal before your dreaded 8 a.m. chemistry class or get some pizza after your night lab, no matter where you are on campus. Weekends, however, are a different story. If you generally find yourself on the East side of campus, you may be without those evening curly fries or morning omelettes on Saturdays.

Clemson has one dining hall on the West side of campus, the Fresh Food Company (Commonly known as Core), and two on the East side, Schilletter and Community Hub. Those on the West side can happily take a short walk to the Fresh Food Company on a Saturday to refuel before a night full of partying or studying, but those on the East side must gear up to trek across the entire campus for a mere bowl of cereal. This is due to both Schilletter AND the Community Hub being closed all Saturday. Don’t get me wrong, I’m down for a nice long walk in the sun on a beautiful Saturday morning, but sometimes the weather just doesn’t agree with that concept. Especially in the winter when I rather limit my time outside in the cold or rain, I would love to take a short walk to either Schilletter or the Hub for some food. In addition to students on the East side having to make that journey, the closure of the East side dining halls on Saturdays ensure that the Fresh Food Company will often be packed throughout the day. Since most freshmen and upperclassmen staying in campus apartments have meal plans, the dining halls stay fairly busy. When the other dining halls are closed, those students flock to Core, especially on game days. Those lines and the lack of seating  is never fun for anyone, employees included. Sure Hendrix and Pod markets are available, but sometimes you’d rather use a meal swipe than your dwindling paw points or the two dollars left in your bank account.

I am sure that Clemson has their reasons for keeping both halls closed on Saturdays, perhaps to provide relief to the employees that have to watch various dead-tired students pile ice cream into their bowl, but it is still slightly irritating. I believe, and you may agree, that either Schilletter or the Hub should be open for some kind of meal on our day off, especially if you purchased a meal plan. Saturdays may be for the boys, but they are definitely not for the dining halls.

I hope you enjoyed this op-ed. If you agree or disagree with me on this topic and would like to contact me to share your own opinion or if you would like to request any future topics for me to write about, please do so at [email protected].

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