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Tufts expands late-night dining options

Published: Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Updated: Wednesday, January 29, 2014 07:01

Tufts Dining Services is offering adjusted late night weekend dining options this semester, with Dewick-MacPhie and Carmichael Dining Halls extending their hours until 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights and the Commons Deli and Grill accepting meal plans.

According to Patti Klos, director of Dining and Business Services, extended hours began this semester in response to strong student demand.

“There was enough interest for a long enough period of time that we felt like it was the time to take action,” she said.

The idea to offer extended evening hours was suggested to Klos last fall by Tufts Community Union (TCU) senators Christie Maciejewski, a senior, and Isabella Kahhale, a freshman, Klos said.

“[Kahhale’s] supposition was that we know students were drinking and they should really be eating too,” Klos said. “I can’t directly support that, but I recognize that students are active in the evenings all the time, but especially on Friday and Saturday.”

Along with extending the hours of the dining halls, Klos arranged for the Commons Deli and Grill in the Mayer Campus Center to accept meal swipes on Friday and Saturday evenings from 9 p.m. until 2 a.m.

“Since the Campus Center is open until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, why not satisfy that need [for late-night dining] in a location that’s designed to serve,” she said. “And so we sort of think of it as a fourth meal period, which is what some campuses call it.”

The Commons first accepted meal swipes on Friday Jan. 24, Klos said. She noted that the new program did not begin during the first weekend of the semester because student demand was not expected to be high.

“We suspected there wouldn’t be enough participation to warrant it,” Klos said. “It was a pretty light week from [Dining Services’] perspective.”

According to Kahhale, the quick implementation of the new dining options was unexpected and extremely welcome. Except a bit of inaccurate information students have spread among themselves about how and when the Commons will allow meal swipes, Kahhale said she believes that thus far, the new meal plan program has been a success.

“There has been so much hype about it,” Kahhale said. “It has been super cool because I’ve heard comments before about people thinking the Campus Center was dead. It’s supposed to be a center for life but people don’t really go there, and it was so great seeing it last night packed with students.”

Klos explained that the meal plan option for the Commons applies to any student with a meal plan — not just to students with the unlimited plan.

“If you’re on a meal plan, regardless of which plan you’re on, you’ll be able to use a meal swipe in the Commons on a Friday or Saturday once between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m.,” she said.

According to Klos, the value of the meal swipe is the lunch meal value of $8.82, which Dining Services felt was adequate for the type of food offered by the Commons. Students will be able to choose any items offered, and if the total goes above $8.82, they have the option of paying the extra money with cash, JumboCash or a credit card.

According to sophomore Lucas Conwell, the new late-night dining options are a major improvement for Dining Services.

“It makes the unlimited meal plan worthwhile since you can get the deli sandwiches at no extra cost,” he said. 

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