The change was made for the 2023-2024 academic year and a petition has since been created to advocate for the reopening of all dining commons on the weekends
By KEGEN WELLS — firstname.lastname@example.org
Starting in fall 2023, the Student Housing and Dining Services (SHDS) have closed two out of the three UC Davis dining commons during the weekends, with the Segundo Dining Commons as the only shared dining location for the various resident communities.
Kraig Brady, the executive director of Dining Services, discussed the reasoning behind this change.
“After studying our students’ weekend eating patterns, along with the low participation of weekend meal plan holders, consolidating our program out of our Segundo Dining Commons creates a greater operational efficiency that saves money for residents,” Brady said.
This decision was made after reviewing the needs of operations to best fit students through an annual report taken by SHDS, according to Brady. In past reports, it was shown that when all dining commons were open, low usage of the dining halls on weekends contributed to limited food offerings.
“This consolidated programmatic adjustment allows for an enhanced service experience,” Brady said. “[This includes] a larger array of food options [with] additional events and entertainment.”
Brady noted that there are food options available seven days a week in the Cuarto and Tercero residential markets, which accept Aggie Cash included in the meal plan.
Many first-year students with seven-day meal plans are upset by this change as they claimed that they were not notified of this prior to enrolling in the plan.
Sheila Soltani, a first-year life sciences major, created an online petition titled, “Justice for 7-Day Meal Plans,’’ advocating for the opening of all dining halls. This petition also highlighted the need to increase the availability of vegetarian and halal food options in the Segundo dining hall.
“Only one dining hall is open on the weekends, [the] Segundo Dining Commons,” the petition read. “They have very little vegetarian and halal options in general. They also close [early] at 8 p.m. on the weekend.”
The petition began on Oct. 1 and has received over 600 signatures since.
“If I had known earlier, I would have chosen the 5-day meal plan,” Soltani said.
Residents at Cuarto and Tercero have the option to switch to a 5-day meal plan, according to Brady, if they believe that it would better fit their needs throughout the school year.
“Every year, changing meal plans is common as students adjust to their eating habits throughout the year,” Brady said. “Some students decrease to a 5-day meal plan, and some students increase to a seven-day meal plan.”
The current hours of operation are set to continue through the remainder of the 2023-2024 academic year.
Written by: Kegen Wells — email@example.com