“All I want is for Harris to stay open a little later. It could be for only a couple nights a week, even just until eight o’clock. I’m not expecting miracles here. I just want an extra half hour to sit down and eat dinner. Is that too much to ask?” This question was posed by Julia Cristofano in the October 25 issue of the College Voice in an article called “Harris: End the Early Bird Special!” It’s a sentiment shared by a lot of Conn students, especially student-athletes, whose practices often prevent them from making it to Harris in time for the 7:30 PM close.
Well, if you’re a Conn student and you’re hungry between the hours of 7:30 and 8:00 PM, you are no longer relegated to paying for food at Cro with your dwindling dining dollars. Beginning on January 24, Harris Refectory will be open until eight o’clock on a pilot basis. In a recent e-mail interview, Director of Dining Services Ingrid Bushwack explains that the change was a long time in the making.
“There have been discussions on staying open later for the last three or four years within the dining team. We know that many of our peer colleges are open later than 7:30 PM and we know that the students here are looking for similar hours,” she said. She also mentioned that the decision was reached after consulting a student advisory group, Director of Athletics Fran Shields and members of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee, all of whom provided “overwhelmingly supportive input.” In the past, student-athletes have been issued Cro Passes, which allow them access to food in Oasis Snack Shop at reduced prices.
As mentioned, the change will be on a pilot basis, meaning that it may not be permanent if things do not work out as dining services hopes. Bushwack says, “We believe eight is a good place to start. It extends the time for students, we will be able to evaluate its effectiveness and we can serve until eight without additional costs for students.” The half-hour extension means that the schedule of Harris’ entire evening staff will shift by thirty minutes.
It is worth noting that the new hours will only be in effect at Harris for budgetary reasons. “We do not have any plans to extend hours on South Campus,” Bushwack reports. “Having more than one location open later would not be efficient or cost-effective.” •