Committee on 24-hour food option meeting

Jackson French

A newly-formed food committee is currently in the early stages of discussing options for the creation of, or a suitable substitute for, for a 24-hour restaurant on campus.

Student Government Association recently passed a resolution in support of Bowling Green sophomore Nick Conrad’s petition and proposal for an on-campus 24-hour restaurant, which led to the creation of the food committee after a open forum held by SGA between students and administrators

Steve Hoyng, resident district manager for Aramark, said he and Gary Meszaros, director of Auxiliary Services, established the food committee with the goal of determining what students want.

He said he and Meszaros will host the food committee’s meetings, adding that SGA, the Residence Hall Association, and the Office of Sustainability will all be represented in the committee.

“SGA is going to have a voice in the committee,” Hoyng said. “They’re going to have several members. We’re also inviting resident hall associates and also some other interested parties.”

“We’re hosting it to see what student opinion is and what they would like for the future,” he said.

At the SGA open forum Hoyng said he and Meszaros suggested an expansion of the Purple Line buses that would take students to certain off-campus restaurants.

“The thought was that maybe we expand the route line and maybe it stops at a 24-hour restaurant in town,” he said, adding that Steak n’ Shake and Waffle House are being considered as possible destinations.

Conrad said while he is in favor of adding a new route to the bus line, he doesn’t think it is a good substitute for a 24-hour restaurant on campus.

“Steak n’ Shake doesn’t accept Big Red Dollars,” Conrad said. “If they accepted Big Red Dollars, I’d be more for that.”

He also said Steak n’ Shake and Waffle House don’t accept meal plans, which he said he would like to be a payment option for late-night diners.

“The on-campus residents that are freshmen and don’t have cars, it’s basically pointless for them because they’d have to pay cash,” he said.

Hoyng said he and Meszaros also suggested converting Einstein’s Bagels or Subway into a 24-hour restaurant.

“I think a 24-hour restaurant is a possibility,” Hoyng said. “We really have to evaluate the cost of it.”

He said Fresh Foods would be the most expensive dining location to keep open 24 hours a day due to its size.

“I think we need to evaluate and get all kinds of information first before we step on the platform,” he said. “I don’t want the students to pay for something that’s not viable.”

Conrad, who started marketing his proposal by gathering signatures from students, said he has started an online petition and has collected more than 1,000 names.

He said support for his proposal has come from alumni as well as students.

“It’s closer than it was but it’s still not set in stone,” he said. “I know there’s still a lot of work to be done but I know that if you keep working at it, eventually they’re bound to try it just to see if it’ll work out.”

Conrad said he thinks an expansion of the purple line route to include stops at off-campus restaurants is more likely than the creation of a 24-hour on-campus location because Meszaros and Hoyng, rather than a student representative, suggested it.

“If it doesn’t work, then it doesn’t work,” Conrad said. “I can’t say I didn’t try.”