By Seaton Stiles
The Caf used to be open until 1:30 p.m. for lunch and 7:30 p.m. for dinner, but the sign outside of the Caf now shows that both meals should end 30 minutes earlier. Sodexo management is altering their meal schedule.
However, this new schedule has not been implemented yet. The Sodexo staff themselves were upset Monday morning amidst the confusion and said they would keep the Caf open for students. They also found out about the schedule change from the sign on the doors.
If put into action, this schedule change would pose many problems for students who planned their class schedules around the Caf’s schedule.
“I think it’s outrageous that they have decided to change the Caf hours with little to no thought about how it might affect students that have classes from 8 a.m.– 1 p.m. who now won’t have the opportunity to eat lunch after having hours of classes,” said Sophomore Katie Baker. These new hours would also pose problems for athletes who have practice during the new Caf hours.
To make up for a shortfall in revenue, Sodexo’s General Manager Joshua Eckman needed to reduce the Caf’s hours. To determine how to do this, he used Sodexo’s methods of tracking how many students swipe into the Caf with their G-Cards in 15-minute intervals.
Eckman said a burst of students swipe into the Caf from 12:45-1:00 after their noon classes, but the 1:00-1:15 and 1:15-1:30 intervals show fewer students entering the Caf, which prompted his decision to shorten the lunch hour by 30 minutes. Too few students swipe in during that half-hour to justify keeping the Caf open. Eckman says this extra time would alleviate employees from being as thinly spread as they are, and allow workers to begin cleaning the dining room sooner.
After discovering the new Caf schedule, students wondered why they did not hear about this sooner or receive an email announcement. Students were set to receive an email detailing the change last Wednesday, but concerns raised at the last minute postponed the announcement.
While the email was postponed, changing the posted schedule on the door was not. Administrators are planning to meet today to further discuss the implications of Sodexo’s potential schedule changes.
Many students have also expressed concern that the student body was not consulted in a decision that directly affects them. However, Eckman did speak with SGA’s Caf Committee, which was formed to give suggestions to Sodexo on behalf of the students.
New hours may be scheduled for the Caf, but these changes have not yet been finalized.