Fix problems with summer dining on campus

August 27, 2018

Brandeis is always quiet over the summer, but aside from fewer students, campus is also lacking in another crucial aspect—food options.

For students who are working and living on campus over the summer, dining options are few and far between. Sodexo adopts different hours for what’s open during the summer session and closes many of its on-campus locations.

Of 13 dining options available throughout the school year, the only four options open during the summer were the Faculty Club, Einstein’s, the Heller Starbucks and Sherman dining hall. On weekdays, the Starbucks Heller and Einstein’s closed at 4 p.m. and the Faculty Club closed at 2 p.m. Sherman had set blocks of open hours for breakfast, lunch and dinner (not continuous service).

For students, faculty and staff working on campus all day during the summer, these are slim options for getting a meal. On weekdays, the only non-dining hall options are coffeeshops.

Faculty and staff who don’t live on campus at least have the option of driving somewhere to get lunch, and eating dinner at home. But for students who are living and working on campus and don’t have a car, they can’t just head off campus for lunch. For people just visiting campus for a day—such as prospective students and their families, or members of a conference—they may expect to be able to stop somewhere for a bite only to find that barely any dining options are open, but that they could have lunch in Sherman for an overpriced $13.85.

Summer meal plans are available to students living on campus; they are required for residents in Ziv and optional in Grad. However, there are block plans for the Sherman dining hours that don’t include points. So if Sherman is closed, meal plans were rendered useless, and students had to find food elsewhere. Due to the schedule of summer classes, some students were likely to have class during the scheduled Sherman meal times and have nowhere else to use their meal plan.

The problem continues as students move back to campus early for various clubs and events, but their meal plans do not start until Aug. 26.

In order for Brandeis to be an accessible and comfortable place to work and visit over the summer, the dining options and hours need to be expanded.

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