Saturday, June 28, 2014

Dinner Time

On Monday this week, the Assistant Directors at the Advanced Studies Program sent out an email to all students and faculty regarding a change in kitchen hours from 5:30-7 to 5-6:30. Though this may seem like a relatively small change, some students aren’t happy about it. Upon interviewing members of the community the most common complaint was that dinner was too close to lunchtime. In addition, many found themselves hungry during the later end of study hours or eating junk food as a snack.

A study done by UCLA researchers shows that people with a diet high in simple sugars and low in fat (essentially junk food) actually makes you lazier, and over a significant amount of time can seriously impact your study and work habits as well as pack on a few pounds!

Another issue students had was that they found themselves waking up extremely hungry and eating much more than normal during breakfast. This too can lead to more pounds!

Larry Fischer, Assistant Director of Food Services lent his perspective as to why this schedule change took place. “Up until last year, dinner was always 5:30 to 7pm. Every year, we always noticed that everyone was arriving at 5:15 and the dining hall was pretty much empty by 6:30.” So the schedule change wasn’t necessarily an ultimatum by the director, but rather a reaction to habits the dining hall staff had noticed. Mr. Fischer also said that “the earlier schedule means some extra time for students for projects, and my staff gets out around a half hour earlier and still have daylight for their own activities. I see it as a win-win!”

What Mr. Fischer is referring to as the “win-win” is both appeasing the student’s and helping his staff. Working long hours in a hot kitchen in the middle of the summer isn’t exactly the most entertaining thing you can be doing, especially when the weather is as beautiful as it has been so far this session. If the small change to the schedule means that the dining hall staff gets some time to enjoy this beautiful campus just as the rest of us do, I’m all for it and support the change.

Assistant Directors Matt Caputo and Grace Vannoy, and the Director of ASP Mike Ricard, had similar opinions. Mr. Ricard also said that the schedule change was implemented the second week of last year’s ASP session, and worked really well. Both ADs and Mr. Ricard had noticed the pattern of student’s dining hall visits, and decided to make the small change.For those of you still finding yourself hungry after you eat dinner, the AD’s suggest going to dinner later than at 5pm. You skip a lot of the waiting in line and still get an amazing dinner served by great people if you get there closer to 5:45.


  1. I liked that you quoted Larry Fischer, because it helps us understand why the dinner time was changed, and how it not only effects the students and teachers/interns, but how it effects the dining hall staff. A lot of the time, I feel we take the dining hall staff for granted so this article and quote from Larry allows us to see the dining hall and the staff there through another lens. Great article!!

    1. Thanks! I really enjoyed interviewing everyone, it was more fun than I thought!

  2. Its hard to find people who do their labor involved jobs with so much effort to please the people they indirectly work for. In this case, us the students

  3. I liked how you entertained both sides of the argument, showed the students' comments (the negative) and the benefits from the staff's perspective (the positive). I also liked how you added the fact that you also added the nutritional consequences too. Good job!!