Matt Rogers, Co-Editor-in-Chief
For as long as students can remember, the Utica College cafeteria has always opened at 10:30 a.m. on the weekends. Sodexo General Manager Damian Boehlert confirmed that it has been like that for at least 30 years.
That will all change March 26, at least on a trial basis.
This week, Boehlert announced that the cafeteria will open at 9 a.m. on the weekends for the rest of the semester.
“Since last semester, we’ve been dabbling with it,” he said. “It’s been a common thing that students were asking for.”
Though the cafeteria will open at 9 a.m., it will be a continental breakfast until 11 a.m. At that point, it will be the traditional menu of eggs and other hot breakfast foods that UC students have become accustomed to. Bagels, cereal, oatmeal and the waffle machine will all be available once the cafeteria opens.
Students across campus that wake up early on the weekend are pleased with the news.
“I am happy to hear that the café will be opening earlier on the weekends,” junior Robert Pontbriand said. “For a percentage of the student body that are early risers, including athletes that are used to getting up for practice and workouts, it was unfair to make them wait and go hungry until the café opened.”
“I will definitely take advantage of the café opening at nine now on the weekends,” senior Maya Callendar added. “I’m an early person, and I work in the mornings. So having the café open at nine means I don’t have to look for other options for breakfast.”
Boehlert noted that the decision comes after nearly 80 students participated in a survey. He said a large number of students were asking for expanded hours. Even though Sodexo will now have to staff additional hours, Boehlert said it is worth it to help out the student body.
“If this is what they want, then we’re going to give it to them,” he said. “It’s adding some stuff to us, but if it at all it makes the students happy, then we’ll do it.”
Boehlert hopes to make students more involved in decisions like these in the future. He mentioned that the Food Service Committee meets the last Wednesday of every month in the DuRoss Faculty Dining Room. Students are encouraged to give feedback of Sodexo’s service. Boehlert said that normally around 15 or 20 students attend, and he would like that number to grow.
While the cafeteria will be opening earlier, the omelet line will not open until 11 a.m, 30 minutes later than normal. Students don’t seem to be bothered.
“I am actually not upset to learn of that,” Pontbriand said. “I think it’s a very reasonable compromise to opening earlier.”
The expanded hours will remain until the end of the semester. At that point, Boehlert and his staff will evaluate. If very few students show up, hours will likely be moved back next semester.
“If they ask for it, hopefully they show up for it,” Boehlert said of students.
Pontbriand is very much looking forward to this, and he believes the expanded hours will be a hit.
“I will be taking full advantage of it,” he said. “I think other students will as well.”
Featured Image: Students will now have an opportunity to eat breakfast earlier on the weekend. The cafeteria will open at 9 a.m. on the weekends for the remainder of the semester. Photo by Matt Rogers.