On-campus, late-night dining options are insufficient

If you’ve ever lived on campus or had a late-night class, you’ve likely been subjected to one of the biggest flaws of SVSU: a lack of late-night dining options.

This is a legitimate concern for students, as busy class and work schedules do not always line up with dining hours.

There are numerous classes at SVSU that end at 10 p.m., but students leaving these classes only have Papa John’s as a dining option, and even that is far from all classes.

This is not a new problem, as for nearly five years I have experienced a lack of latenight dining options as both an on-campus resident and a commuter.

As it stands, the only place students can get a meal on campus after 8 p.m. is Papa John’s.

This is sufficient for some, but as a university, we should strive for more than just sufficient when it comes to the needs of our students.

A solution to the lack of late-night dining options is actually quite simple.

The Market Place at Doan, the most popular dining option on campus, currently closes at 8 p.m.

The simplest way fix the dining crisis would be to extend the hours of the Marketplace until 10:30 p.m.

This would give students who have late-night classes the opportunity to get a meal before they leave campus or head back to the dorms.

Because a late-night dining option would obviously not be as popular of a dining time as 6 p.m., not all sections of the Marketplace would need to stay open.

If only the most popular items and sections were kept open, this would still be an adequate solution.

However, why just stop at adequate? Dining Services could also leave open one of the three restaurants located in the Cardinal Café.

This actually makes more sense than keeping Papa John’s open late, because there is a higher concentration of students in that part of campus late at night.

The library is always booming late, but why would someone walk a half-mile round trip just to get sub-par pizza?

Like the Marketplace, a full-scale operation wouldn’t be needed late at night for the Cardinal Café.

Keeping any one of the three restaurants open would be greatly beneficial to students.

Simply keeping dining options open later is the easiest of solutions, but what if we took it a step further?

Instead of keeping a dining hall open late and increasing university operating expenses, why not create a meal replacement system similar to other universities?

In this dining model, students with a meal plan would have the option to exchange a meal credit for a prepackaged meal.

At universities like Michigan State and Ferris State, these meals consist of things like sandwich wraps, pizza and salads.

Even if students didn’t have a dining plan they could use to exchange meals, these options could also be available for purchase.

This would diversify options available late at night and benefit on-campus students, as well as commuters.

Changing Saginaw Valley’s long-standing dining hours is becoming more of an apparent need.

Students are left without much choice when they are on campus late at night, and would greatly benefit from the change.

If SVSU wants to keep the best interests of their students in mind, they should strongly consider updating their current hours for dining operations.

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