The new year brought changes to Miami University’s campus, specifically within the department of dining, housing and guest services.
Recent revisions to dining hall hours of operations are affecting students across campus.
The largest changes made to date include extended hours at Bell Tower Place. Bell Tower was originally open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., but a new schedule shifts the hours of operation from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
This extra hour at night has allowed the dining hall to serve four times as many students, an improvement Nancy Heidtman, director of dining and culinary support services, said she anticipated.
“We made these changes to better accommodate the needs of the students,” Heidtman said.
Heidtman added that dining and culinary support services recognized the dietary demands of college students don’t begin until after 7 a.m. and last long into the night.
This shift is an improvement for late diners, but may pose a problem for those early-risers who like breakfast before class.
“If you have an 8 a.m. and you want a hot breakfast, then you won’t be able to eat or you will be limited to other places on campus that might be out of the way,” first-year Brian Denning said.
Dividend$, the dining hall located in the Farmer School of Business, is now open from 7:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
According to Heidtman, this addition enables the café to cover all class breaks in the building.
Shriver’s Haines Food Court has minimized the restricted meal plan hours to 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday. This allows students to use their meal plan cards at any other time outside the hour. The biggest change occurs on Friday, when Haines is open to swipe all day long.
Heidtman said the restriction on using meal plans during lunch was implemented due to Shriver’s inability to seat the large lunchtime crowds at noon.
Now other dining services, such as Dividend$, compete for the lunch crowd to more evenly distribute diners and alleviate the seating shortage.
Starting this semester, Hydrations, the dining service located at the Recreational Sports Center, will be offering a limited variety of beverages. They are no longer offering a cup of water and ice to customers nor will they be serving soda fountain drinks.
Some students may be especially disappointed that they can no longer buy a cup of water and ice for a price that was much more attractive than that of bottled water.
“I’m mad because you’re forced to buy the bottled water which gives you less water and costs almost three times as much,” said sophomore Austin Sohr.
Heidtman said this change was unavoidable.
“The soda fountain drinks were not selling, and we had to pull the beverage machine,” Heidtman said.
The machine originally provided the ice and water used to serve customers. Sophomore Kristen Yagley said she is satisfied with the dining hall changes.
“It’s good to know the university is responding to what the students want,” Yagley said.