The dining hall renovations that were unveiled this year brought good changes, but also heavy criticism about the hours of operation and late night options. Recently some alterations have been made to accommodate the late night snacking habits of students, and the initial result has been largely positive.
Students were highly upset this year after realizing that Chase Dining Hall went from being open until midnight to only open until 9 p.m. (and closing even earlier on weekends). Emerson Dining Hall was open later, but became largely focused on Lyons bucks, making most students annoyed that the school was trying so hard to presumably make a profit off of them. “I think a lot of people feel like we don’t want to pay for food when we used to get it for free,” said Julia Lisi ’18, “because there is only one completely free dining hall, we all squeeze into there making lines long and then with less hours it became a little more inconvenient.” Lisi did add how grateful she was that Chase extended their hours to 11 p.m. and says it’s been “really incredible of them to listen to all of our feedback.”
Some students have tried to sympathize with the administration, and thought the initial reactions were too irate. “I don’t think people realize how good we have it at the school when it comes to food and hours,” said Sam Stevens ’18, “The only real reason everyone was so mad with the [initially new] hours was because we had hours that were taken away, which makes sense. I feel bad for John Bragel, he does a great job.”
Students are now very happy with the changes, especially students on sports teams. Haishim Soufan ’17 explained that the changes made him extremely happy, as he said, “with the [initial] dining hours I went to bed hungry almost every night, especially on days we had late rugby practices.” Soufan is glad he will no longer have that experience nightly.
Overall this seems to be a true example of student feedback and administrative cooperation affecting positive change here at Wheaton.