Late night: it’s something that some UMBC students take for granted. Who doesn’t love a tasty (and sometimes nutritious) meal at night? It’s like late night snacking but with more filling food. Not only that, but the late night options offer a variety of foods, from pizza to burgers, sandwiches, chicken tenders and occasional late night specials to satisfy the post-sunset craving.
This system has been in place for a while and overall, students have expressed satisfaction with it. But what if UMBC and dining services decided to mix things up and change the late night system? A friend of mine suggested that UMBC should make late night accessible all week.
Tom DeLuca, resident district manager for UMBC dining contractor Chartwells, oversees all of the dining options at the university. While major changes to the late night schedule wouldn’t happen overnight (pun intended), DeLuca does consider them feasible.
“Our hours for late night are outlined in our contract with the university and we make changes and modifications to them annually based on a number of factors like student satisfaction and variety of menu,” said DeLuca. While many students may not know it, Chartwells and UMBC dining services work very hard to ensure student satisfaction.
In fact, while the late night schedule may appear to be set in stone by those who have attended the university for some time, DeLuca stated that they “have received feedback about the current late night schedule. Feedback has included which venues stay open in The Commons and this past year we have received some feedback about changing the days of late night in True Grits.” This means that change is not impossible in coming years.
But what about the idea of having late open seven nights a week? According to DeLuca, “This is a question that has been raised this year and we would like to evaluate and discuss this further with the dining committee and other student groups as we move forward with our dining program.”
Does that mean that this plan could be feasible? Well, not necessarily. According to DeLuca, “To increase hours and days will mean an increase in costs.” When it comes to late night and any changes that may be had, “We have to keep in mind cost that will impact the cost and affordability of meal plans.”
However, if any change occurs, it’s ultimately the students who have a say in the matter, as Chartwells and the faculty at UMBC ultimately aim for student satisfaction. Many students seem to be indifferent, but Michelle Chan, a sophomore environmental science major, had a lot to say. She proposes that the university keep the system it has in place now, but that they rotate the late night options at The Commons every night. “What late night needs is a little more variety,” said Chan. “They already use the machines during the day, so why can’t they use the ones from other places during late night?”
While change to late night is very possible, students shouldn’t expect any major updates immediately. Even if UMBC decides any changes proposed by Chartwells would be in the best interest of the university. However, for those of you that are really tired of what UMBC has in place now, raise your voice and state your discontent, tell UMBC and dining services what you believe should be improved. You might not see it when you go to pick up your late night chicken tenders, but the change you’re looking for may just be around the corner.