Bob and Doris ‘52 Pulley Diner and Armstrong Student Center (ASC) will no longer be open 24 hours a day.
Pulley is closing from 2 a.m. to 7 a.m. due to staffing shortages, said Geno Svec, executive director of campus services.
It’s difficult, he said, to find people for all shifts but even moreso for the late night hours. He attributed the staffing issues to a low unemployment rate and Miami University’s location in a small town far from a larger city.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Ohio’s unemployment rate went down 1 percent from August 2017 to August 2019. The U.S. Census Bureau said Oxford’s unemployment numbers actually went up from 2011 to 2017, but there was no more recent data available.
Junior Aidan Kuhn said he understands the reasons for closing overnight.
“They could either run a couple poor people ragged trying to put them in different places and spread them over several shifts, or they could actually have okay service and get your meals to you pretty fast,” he said.
Many students, though, are sad to see the hours change.
Sophomore Connor Manos said she thinks there needs to be a place for students to go 24/7, especially since the dining halls close at 8 p.m. She also mentioned safety for drunk students who might come to Pulley after a night out.
“I think I only came here late at night, so I probably won’t come anymore,” said junior Kaycee Siedler. “It was a nice place that you knew would always be open and you could come get food or just sit with friends, so it’s sad that it’s not open anymore.”
On average, Pulley has 21 customers from 2 a.m. to 7 a.m. Excluding Pulley’s numbers, ASC has about 13 students over that period, said Katie Wilson, director of ASC.
“That few people in a building of 200,000 square feet isn’t safe for those students or for the student staff,” Wilson said. “It’s a big building to have that few people in it and still be a safe environment, so I felt like without dining being open we couldn’t maintain a safe environment in the rest of the building.”
ASC will now be open from 6:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily, which Wilson said was decided after Pulley chose to close overnight.
Oftentimes the Armstrong building managers, a position held by students, would be alone in the building or would be there with just a few other people. The building manager was the only staff member present in the early morning hours outside of dining and custodial employees.
There were also no supervisors or full time building staff there to help student workers, although someone was on call if a problem arose. Dining had a non-student manager, but that person was not in charge of the building managers and would not have been there with Pulley closing.
Haley Uline, a building manager and second semester senior, said she feels relieved that the hours are changing.
“It kind of puts you on edge,” she said about being there late at night. “I know it’s nice for the building to be open for people to pass through, but it’s hard for one building manager to cover all of the areas in Armstrong where a person might be and make sure that nothing’s going on that’s unsafe for the students or no damage is being done or someone who shouldn’t be there isn’t there.”