Points for Hilltop residents a smart move by Dining Services

As project Next Gen administers many changes to UConn’s current infrastructure, Putnam Refectory will be getting a complete overhaul, with new equipment and an additional level according to coverage from The Daily Campus. Construction will begin in the last six weeks of the current semester – from spring break onward – to meet the fall 2016 imposed deadline.

This means that students who eat at Putnam most often (i.e., residents of Garrigus and the Hilltop dorms Ellsworth and Hale) are getting extra points added to their meal plans as compensation. The decision by dining services to field requests and questions from students was wise, considering the Student Union is probably the closest place to eat on campus from Hilltop that isn’t the dorm room.

Assuming the Union will likely be the most sought after dining area by virtue of its distance, variety and selection, dining services needs to consider the influx of people, specifically around lunch time.

Maybe Hilltop residents can have their points be “active” at a time slightly before or after peak Union traffic (between roughly noon and 1) to see that the area doesn’t become too hectic. However, if this was the case, how specific would it be?

Certain Hilltop residents already have points and eat lunch at the Union, so are those people not allowed to eat there during the particular hour on the basis of where they live? Regardless, if students are out on main campus during the day, they’re likely near some dining hall.

It is frustrating that construction had to be conducted during school time, but dining services personnel said they needed to start earlier than anticipated to meet the deadline of next school year. From an administrative, wooing-freshman perspective, it’s logical: Freshman living in Hilltop want the college luxury of an accessible dining hall, so if they live in a place that provides the mild inconvenience of walking far to get food, they’ll get turned off and possibly consider leaving school, which loses the university money.

Dining services has plenty of closer options available for 2015-16 Hilltop students, as well. They intend to provide services such as weekly on-site tent barbecue, a continental breakfast in a random Hilltop lounge, a food truck and a box meal program.

They are really pulling out all the stops for students in the final six weeks of the semester, and provided traffic is managed efficiently and runs smoothly, it should alleviate some of the inconvenience from the dining hall construction.