During the Nov. 4 Monday night Student Government (SG) meeting, SG President Joe Scholz announced that the University of Dallas administration and Aramark have agreed to modify dining services hours. Beginning next semester, the hours will change to better accommodate students with scheduling conflicts, particularly athletes.
Starting on January 19, Haggar Café will stay open until 8:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday but will open at 9:30 a.m. on the weekend, two hours later than the current 7:30 a.m. time. Friday hours will remain the same.
In an Oct. 30 commentary article published in The University News, Scholz described the current hours as an “undue burden” on athletes who often have to purchase food at the Rathskeller. Though Scholz acknowledges that the idea to modify food access hours came before him, he has made it one of his priorities while serving on the executive council.
“The night after I won [SG presidency], one of my residents told me to meet him in the Cap Bar to talk with some student-athletes,” wrote Scholz in an email.
“When I got there, there were over 10 athletes there, and their foremost concerns were representation and food access,” wrote Scholz. “That’s when I decided to step into this conversation and push for a real improvement. Improving athletic food access on weeknights was a key platform plank of my campaign, and I’m grateful for the teamwork on all fronts that’s made follow-through possible.”
Aramark General Manager Casey Teng worked with Scholz to extend the hours. In an email exchange, Teng said that the type of food should remain similar in the extended hours during the weekdays. Students will have the opportunity to dine or take meals to go as usual, and there should be minimal changes.
“We will have to make some minor changes to the employees’ schedules; extending their hours to ensure proper close down procedures,” wrote Teng in response to a question about the impact the extended hours will have on employees.
Women’s soccer player and sophomore history major Monica O’Donnell has had to spend most of her declining balance at the Rathskeller because of practice schedules.
“The University of Dallas women’s soccer team didn’t really have a choice as to when our practices were going to be this year,” said O’Donnell.
“The men’s team and the women’s team share a field, so this year the women’s team got the field after the men which meant that the practice couldn’t start before 5:30 and therefore would not end before 7:30,” O’Donnell said. “The cafe was closed before the team could eat dinner every day which made them very hungry after practices. They would have to eat before 4 in the cafe which hadn’t put out their dinner options yet, or the team would spend their money at the Rathskeller every night … even if I ate before practice I was always hungry after. So the extension of the hours is huge for many sports teams so they can stay properly fueled to play their sport”
Though the change benefits athletes, the extended hours are open to all students with a dining plan.
“We understand student’s lives and schedules are crazy, finding time to eat shouldn’t add to their stress so we are making changes to for everyone’s convenience,” wrote Teng.