Not everyone sleeps in on the weekend.
Sophomore psychology major Abanoub Gad works on Saturday mornings. His shift starts at 9 a.m., two hours before the North Campus Dining Hall opens.
“Most of the time, I have to go without breakfast,” he said.
Starting after spring break, however, Dining Services will pilot a weekend continental breakfast menu through the end of the semester. Instead of opening at 11 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, the North and South Campus dining halls will open at 10 a.m. with a variety of cold options.
The menu will include bagels, donuts, cereal and fruit, as well as yogurt with toppings. Though the waffle irons will be open for use, workers won’t serve hot food like pancakes, French toast and omelets until 11 a.m. Still, Dining Services is hoping to hold early risers over with the selected offerings.
Dining Services will pay $15,000 to open the two dining halls an hour early for two semesters total, depending on the pilot program. That number is low compared to what the department could have ended up paying, thanks to meticulous planning, said Bart Hipple, Dining Services spokesman.
Dining Services has not offered early breakfasts in the past because of the additional resources and costs that come with increased operating hours. Previously, officials were not confident enough students would use the additional hours. Now, however, staff schedules will be reorganized to accommodate the new opening times.
“We’ve selected the menu very carefully, choosing food that we can set out, and students will basically serve themselves,” Hipple said.
These pilot weekends will be the only times the dining halls have opened early apart from finals week.
“There has been a concern that there is nowhere to get breakfast on campus other than a convenience store before 11 o’clock,” Hipple said.
He said the change is in response to concerns voiced by on-campus residents and the Residence Hall Association’s Dining Services Advisory Board.
“It’s something we’ve be pushing for since last semester, so it’s nice that it’s happening,” said DSAB Chairwoman Devrie Stellar. “Hopefully it’ll be successful.”
But some students are skeptical that a continental breakfast is a solid investment.
“I understand that people might be frustrated that there’s not anything open — there have been plenty of times where I had to get up early and I have to pay for food,” said Mia Simon, a sophomore journalism major. “But moneywise, I’m not sure it’s worth it.”
“A majority of students don’t get up that early, and I would prefer the [North Campus Snack ‘n’ Shop] open earlier,” Simon added.
Other students, however, said they are tired of having to spend money on expensive granola bars and cereals at convenience stores while they wait for the dining halls to open.
“Sometimes I do get up early, and if I’m hungry, I have to go the 24-Hour Shop,” said Jennifer Arseneault, a freshman enrolled in letters and sciences.
While college students stereotypically sleep the day away after late weekend nights, many said they wake up earlier than people might think. And some students, such as sophomore Arabic major Christina Fahmi, said it’s time to open the dining halls earlier.
“We don’t all sleep late,” Fahmi said. “Sometimes waiting until 11 a.m. is just ridiculous.”