This semester, one thing that was a new experience for me was a class that started at 6 p.m. at night. I wasn’t thrilled about the idea, but I figured that it wasn’t that big of a deal.
The first day I had the class, we finished up and I started to head towards the Zorn Dining Commons, when a thought occurred to me. The hours to eat only extended to 7:45 PM. This was a problem I found numerous students had been faced with who had 6 p.m. classes last semester.
This presented a big balance issue to the aforementioned students, especially those with the school’s highest offered meal plan of 19 meals a week. This plan is not cheap, and a lot of people are unable to use a good number of their meals.
This hours dilemma is a large issue on the mind of people who have classes at 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday. That’s four meals a week that either have to be spent at Hoot n’ Scoot or before the class starts daily.
The Hoot n’ Scoot, while good for students who want a quick meal between classes and don’t have time to sit down, should not have to be the main option for dinner four nights a week. As a matter of fact, if a student doesn’t have the “Flex Cash” option, the Hoot ‘n’ Scoot is really the only on-campus dining option.
There are many students who end up with quite a few meals left over at the end of the week because they were unable to get to the dining commons, and didn’t want to get the same thing at the Hoot ‘n’ Scoot as last week.
This is not meant to discredit the Hoot ‘n’ Scoot as a valuable asset to the school however. Personally I love the convenience of having a quick option after class if I need to grab a meal.
However, (and I believe many students with a 6 p.m. class would agree with me) I would like to be able to sit down and enjoy a full meal from the dining commons more often.
I understand that the dining commons workers need to go home and be with their families as well, and that is not at all an unreasonable thing to want. However, there is a solution I believe would be beneficial to everyone.
At 7:30 p.m., stop making food as usual. But instead of closing the dining commons to students, leave out the food that is left at 7:30 p.m. still and keep the dining commons open until 8 p.m. This will allow students with 6 p.m. classes to be able to come in and enjoy a variety of options for dinner each day.
Understandably, Keene is not as large of a school as some of the other colleges people attend. A friend of mine at University of Florida said their Dining Common is open until 10 at night.
That doesn’t make sense for Keene. Slightly extended hours, however, would benefit everyone, and increase meal plan efficiency for the students of KSC.
David Padrazo can be contacted at