UConn needs more than one weekend breakfast dining hall, or at least one in the middle of campus

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Students wait in line for food at South Campus Marketplace on a Monday evening. While the line is manageable during the week, the weekends become a whole different story with South Campus Marketplace being the only dining hall open for breakfast on the weekends.

On Saturdays and Sundays, South Dining Hall is the only hall open for breakfast, and this is not fair to students not living in its close proximity. While residents living in South Campus, the Alumni halls, West Campus or anything else relatively near have a short walk to breakfast, some residents have to deal with a walk of over a mile. In the summer, this might not seem like the worst thing in the world, but once the cold sets in, the issue will certainly become more apparent.

The justification for having only one of the eight halls open is mainly that fewer people get up early on weekends, but fewer is not zero, and those that do do not all live near South. The problem here is clear, but the solution is not as simple. Not finding enough people to work early shifts on weekends may also be a reason for seven of the halls to be closed. From here, two possible solutions come to mind: the first being to open a second dining hall on the other side of campus and to hope enough staff can be available and the second being to find a more centralized location for weekend breakfast if the former isn’t achievable.

For patrons of the dining halls, the option of opening a second dining hall in a different location on campus for weekend breakfast is the most convenient. Even from a staffing perspective, it’s not too far-fetched, as there would still only be a quarter of the dining halls open at the time, and Towers (Gelfenbien) already opens at 9:30, so pushing that forward about an hour isn’t a dramatic shift.  This option would also help to curb the spread of COVID-19, as everyone looking for an early breakfast wouldn’t be concentrated in the same place.

Finding a more central location for a dining hall to serve breakfast may prove to be a more permanent solution to the problem. South is on one end of the campus, making it extremely inconvenient for those on the opposite side. McMahon seems to be the most geographically central dining hall, and even that is kind of a stretch, as it seems a whole new dining hall would have to be constructed for this purpose. However, there may be a workaround for that. The Student Union has recently closed multiple spaces on the floor that normally houses food establishments, and this might be a great chance to offer food to people with meal plan swipes! The Union is centrally located and has a large eating area — while paid establishments like the Market could continue, it would be a great help to many students if even a small offering was made for weekend breakfasts in order to lessen the necessary hike.

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