Garrett Food Court swaps operating hours

Whitney Ingersoll

If sub sandwiches don’t sound good, hungry students will have to go to the bottom of the Hill to satisfy their dinner appetites.

Since Monday, the Garrett Food Court has stopped serving food after 2:30 p.m. Meanwhile, the Garrett Center Subway has been staying open until 7 p.m.

Auxiliary Services director Rob Chrisler said one reason for the change was that the food court had little business after lunch. It was serving about 20 students for dinner, while the Fresh Food Company in Downing University Center has lines around 4:30 every afternoon, he said.

The food court wasn’t being used during dinner hours because there aren’t any dorms nearby, he said.

Another reason for the change was a survey conducted last year that reported students would eat in Garrett if its Subway was open longer.

Chrisler said some students will go to the Garrett Subway to avoid activities in Nite Class during the week.

Two years ago the Garrett Subway was open until 7 p.m. and the food court closed at 2:30, but they had switched. Previous student surveys had showed that interest in a food court was higher.

Now that the hours have switched again, not all students are happy with the changes.

“I’m upset about this,” Elizabethtown junior Cassie Slaughter said. “I have classes back to back from 8 to 3:30 on Monday-Wednesday-Friday, and I usually come here to eat lunch at 3:30.”

Laurie Watson, junior from Hendersonville, Tenn., said students who have classes in the fine arts center usually spend a lot of time there.

Slaughter agreed.

“We all do things at FAC at night,” she said. “We come here to eat dinner, and now we can’t do that either.”

The closing is also a problem for students who have time between classes.

“It’s really inconvenient for people who have classes all day and want to eat on the way to class and can’t,” Bowling Green freshman Tyler Champion said.

The Student Government Association plans on getting involved.

“This is something that SGA will address because it’s a huge problem,” SGA President John Bradley said.

Bradley said SGA has been working on making dining services at Western better, and he doesn’t think that this contributes to that goal.

He said he hopes to solve the “problem” through discussions with Chrisler and Dining Services director Barry Wells.

“If not, we’ll lobby the ad-ministration on behalf of the students to put pressure on them to start the regular hours they had when school started,” Bradley said.

Wells could not be reached for comment.

Chrisler said that the same food served in Garrett is also available in DUC.

Employees that worked evenings in Garrett have been relocated, Chrisler said.

Chrisler said he didn’t know if any Garrett Food Court employees have lost hours, but that employees who wanted fewer hours were able to get them.

Garrett Food Court employees could not comment because they work for Ara-mark.

Chrisler said he hasn’t heard any complaints from employees.

The change could be reversed depending on student survey results, he said.

Chrisler said those results often change.

“This is not cast in concrete,” Chrisler said.

The surveys will also be conducted differently this year. Chrisler said that they are going to be given electronically to create a bigger base for more student resp-onse.

There is computer software available that will tally the surveys more efficiently, he said.

The next survey should go out to all students with meal plans and meal dollars, Chrisler said.

He said the survey may go out to all students to find out why some don’t eat on campus.

Reach Whitney Ingersoll at [email protected]