For students who live on campus and attend night classes, finding a time and place to eat dinner on campus can be a challenge.
According to Registrar Karen Hutslar, with a little more than 8,000 students enrolled in classes ending after 7:30 p.m., many students cannot make it to their respective dining hall for dinner before closing time.
Chesterfield Township sophomore Rachel Kitchens has a night class that runs until 7 p.m., and said the Merrill Residential Restaurant is often closed by the time she gets back.
“They should be open later,” Kitchens said. “For classes that run longer, like my class, it takes up the whole dinner time. By the time I walk back from class, it is closed. So I can’t eat dinner even though I’m paying for it.”
Fresh Food Company, Robinson and Merrill residential restaurants close their doors at 7:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
Real Food on Campus is open until 9 p.m. After 7:30 p.m., cheeseburgers, pizza, salad and sandwich bars remain open for the students’ convenience.
Although the RFoC accommodates to some of the early-ending evening classes, some students are still upset that it does not serve a full dinner.
Southfield sophomore Amber Williams, who eats at RFoC, has a class that lets out between 9:30 and 10 p.m.
“When I come back from class, it isn’t open anymore,” Williams said. “So I’m forced to use my Flex Dollars. I think they should stay open until around 10:30 p.m.”
In the past few years, campus dining has been making changes to the residential restaurants’ hours of operation.
According to Pamela Miller, assistant marketing manager of Campus Dining, Robinson Residential Restaurant last extended its service hours in 2008 to as late as 7:30 p.m. from Monday through Friday.
In 2009, all residential restaurants extended their lunch hours until 2:30 p.m.
The Fresh Food Company also extended its dinner hours to 7:30 p.m. in 2011. In that same year, the RFoC began featuring late night hours, remaining open until 9 p.m.
Campus Dining is aware of the problems students have with classes running through dinnertime, and it offers different options to help ensure that every student who pays for a meal plan is able to eat.
“We offer a few solutions,” Miller said. “Meals-2-Go is a program focused on providing nutritious meals to students who are too busy to make it in to the restaurants to have a meal. We provide brochures with options and an order form that the student turns in to the restaurant.”
Restaurants also begin serving dinner at 4 p.m. to give students with late classes the opportunity to eat before going to class.
Miller said the Northside Market, P.O.D. Market, and the Market are open until 2 a.m. every night so that students can find dinner at these locations.
“We will continue to evaluate past changes to service hours and make necessary changes for the 2013-14 academic year, while remaining fiscally responsible for the university,” Miller said.