While students stay on campus due to COVID-19 regulations, what are they supposed to eat when one of their only dining options fails to open during work hours?
Eastern University only has three dining options available on campus; however, on the weekends, the options are limited to the Dining Commons and Breezeway. During a normal school year, students return home most weekends or go out to eat, which is why the irregular hours and inconsistency of the dining
facilities never seemed to truly bother anyone.
The 2020-2021 academic year is not a normal year, however. This semester, students are not allowed to go home or go out to eat. Students depend on the dining options more than ever. Despite this, Sodexo’s operations are not consistent or dependable. On the weekend of September 25, Breezeway did not open for Eastern students. There was no email sent out, no notice. When students went to get their dinner, they were greeted with a black room and locked doors. Students then had to find other alternatives since the Dining Commons closes especially early on Sundays at 6 p.m.
Many students depend on Breezeway for meals as it is much closer to a majority of the residential halls and has extended hours of service. When missing the early weekend hours for the Dining Commons, students rely on Breezeway for food, but how can students rely on their meal plans when the one source of food on weekends doesn’t open?
Some may argue that students should then get food delivered on campus, but many students don’t have this privilege. A portion of students pay for their own books, tuition, bills, and more out of pocket and can’t afford dinner out, much less the extra five-dollar charge for delivery. Students should not be forced to go hungry or pay for dinner when they are already paying for a meal plan.
Breezeway is a staple for the majority of students on campus. When the establishment does not open when it’s supposed to, students are left with little to no options. During the times of COVID-19, it is vital that the dining facilities are open during their operation hours. Students are not allowed to leave campus, and many cannot afford the luxury of getting food delivered.
The bottom line is that Eastern University students are paying for a meal plan in which they cannot use consistently due to Sodexo’s inability to show up. Food is a basic need, and students currently cannot depend on the dining options that Eastern has to offer.