Where's the grub?
It's 5 p.m. and my stomach rumbles. I start thinking of options on campus where I can grab a quick bite but suddenly remember that it's summer and nothing is open.
So why does summer have to be an excuse to close earlier?
With UTEP's centennial construction, campus has been transformed not into a beautiful sea of green grass and pathways, but into a maze of asphalt, dirt and fencing that makes it unbearable to walk across in 100-degree heat.
So after that long walk from one of the parking lots surrounding campus, one would expect to feel a little parched. A frappuccino from Starbucks or a strawberry smoothie from Jamba Juice sounds like a delectable treat, but if you aren't at those locations or other eateries on campus by 3 p.m., you'll have to settle for water from the water fountain.
According to University Communications, there are more than 1,200 classes being offered for both summer sessions. Yet, food services on campus and even the shuttle routes will not operate late into the evening. So what happens to those students and employees who stay after 5 p.m.?
Construction is one of the reasons for those early closures, along with how well the services on campus have done economically during past summer sessions.
As mentioned in the article, "Summer session, limited food choices" on page four, the reason for early closures is purely business. The last three summers were evaluated and it was then decided that there was not as much profit to stay open so late during the summer.
This seems like an understandable reason, however, the last three summers did not have as many classes being offered as there are now.
So with an increase in attendance from previous years, why shouldn't the services on campus cater to that, especially for students who have classes beginning at 7 p.m.?
Not only is campus full of students during the summer, but there are also orientations for prospective students and summer events on campus, such as Movies on the Lawn. This brings public traffic to campus and with public traffic comes money.
With campus eateries closed early, traffic flow decreases and the mindset of 'nothing to do on campus' sets in. It seems almost counter-productive as faculty and staff stress evening campus activities during the fall, yet hardly any participation is seen.
With enough activity on campus, there should be enough profit coming in. Sodexho and the other food companies on campus should take the growing attendance into consideration and extend their summer hours. With longer hours, there will be more traffic across campus, and ultimately a positive view of UTEP that will result in a frame of mind of wanting to remain on campus
Lorain Watters may be reached at email@example.com.
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