Last Saturday was a long day for me. I was at a retreat all morning and spent the afternoon studying. About 6:30 p.m., I was ready for dinner so I headed off to The Main with a couple of my friends. When I got there, I was shocked. The Main was closed.As many of you have probably noticed, The Main has changed its weekend operating hours. It’s now only open from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m. Fridays and 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Saturdays. So, what are students supposed to do for dinner on weekends? Walk to Worth Hills and wait in an exceptionally long line to pay an inordinate price for food at Pond St. Grill? Spend more money going out to eat? Starve? Apparently so.
This year, TCU raised the meal plan amount. Now, freshmen living on campus are required to have a minimum $1,400 per semester plan and sophomores living on campus must have a minimum $1,200 dollar plan.
Last year, I had the $1,200 minimum freshman meal plan and it was more than enough. I treated all my friends to dinner and spent $500 on groceries at the end of the spring semester just to use up the amount on my meal card. With the meal plan price increase, you would think that students would have more opportunities to use it. But no. Instead, TCU Dining Services has decreased the opportunities for students to use the money on their meal plans. Why?
Perhaps TCU closed The Main for dinner on weekends to give staffers a break. But if that’s the case, why not hire more workers?
“They’re making enough money to keep it open,” said Jeff Stanfield, a junior English major, “so that shouldn’t be a problem.”
Or maybe TCU decided to close The Main early because it wasn’t receiving enough business since students were going out. But then, why should TCU keep Pond St. Grill open? It would be better if TCU opened a more convenient location for weekend dinners.
The Main is the most accessible eatery on campus. Students shell out thousands of dollars per year for their food and should be able to eat when they want and where they want. My dad was delighted that only one eatery was open – he thought it would decrease the meal plan price. But when he found out it didn’t, he was none too pleased.
“I think it’s ridiculous,” said Margaret Schruba, a sophomore nursing major. “If I’m paying for meals, The Main should be open when it’s convenient.”
Many students don’t want to walk all the way to Worth Hills to get a simple weekend dinner. The prices are much higher at Pond St. Grill and the time it takes to get there from Main Campus is not worth it for many students, especially in the Texas heat.
“I think it’s inconvenient and I don’t walk all the way up to Pond St. to get food that’s not the best anyway,” said Elizabeth Jones, a sophomore premajor.
It’s much quicker to run to Potbelly Sandwich Works or Dutch’s Legendary Hamburgers than trek to Pond St. Grill, which is why many students now go to nearby off-campus restaurants during the weekends.
“We’re having to use extra money to get food (from) off campus, which shouldn’t happen,” Jones said. “They should open something more convenient like Eden’s or Deco Deli.”
Perhaps TCU just wants its students to skip weekend dinners and starve.
“But if this is the new fitness plan for the campus,” Schruba said, “I don’t approve.”
Christina Durano is a sophomore broadcast journalism major from Albuquerque, N.M.