Northwest Dining Unit will be open for Fridays and Saturdays, despite previous plans to close it during that time, said dining services director Dennis Pierce.
The dining hall will be open on Friday from 7 a.m. to 7:15 p.m., and on Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 7:15 p.m., per the late night policy that Northwest adheres to. It will be open until 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday. North Dining Unit, next to Northwest, will continue to remain open seven days a week, Pierce said.
Reopening Northwest for the weekend is a temporary solution for food storage issues and a large population of student business over the first weekend of the fall semester, Pierce said. Over the summer, a plan was in place to expand the quantity of walk-in freezers on campus, but the project fell through, further compromising the storage issue, Pierce added.
The University of Connecticut will be looking to reclosing Northwest come the fall of 2019. Although the move could generate controversy, Pierce said he is confident that students would be able to adapt as necessary.
“While we understand it may be convenient, it’s not practical,” Pierce said, “as from a financial perspective.”
Pierce said on Friday that UConn is working on facilities on and off campus to implement a more efficient food storage policy, including updated refrigerators and other cost effective measures, during the summer of 2019.
The move to open Northwest on weekends has generated positive feedback from students, as they now have more time to access the dining hall facilities.
“I’m hella excited,” first semester resident Jackie Shapiro said. “I like that they’re open late because now I get to come later on the weekends too.”
In addition to changing service hours, Dining Services is also beginning to reduce the size of the cups in the dining halls on campus from 16 oz to 12 oz, starting with Putnam, Buckley and Gelfenbein, Pierce said.
“For us, it’s just another step toward being more sustainable.” Pierce said.
The move is intended to combat the issue of liquid waste on campus, which is much harder to track and control in the midst of a push on avoiding food waste in recent months, Pierce said. Doing so also makes financial sense for both Dining Services and the university, Pierce added.
Pierce said that Dining Services will be able to make the switch to 12 oz cups at all dining halls after about a year and half, after the inventory of remaining 16 oz glasses is exhausted.
“You can’t do it overnight,” Pierce said.
Taylor Harton is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at email@example.com.