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Students Rally For Dining Options

By Ifung Lu
Staff Reporter

Following student protest over cutbacks, administrators in the Office of Housing and Food Services plan to meet with student representatives to discuss expanding dining options on the east side of campus.

The recent closure of the Pritchett Snack Bar and the shortened hours at Walker Memorial's Morss Hall concerned many residents on the east side of campus. As gauged from a survey and extensive discussions held last week at East Campus and Senior House, the student representatives have drafted a proposal to present at the upcoming meeting.

"What most people want is Walker open for dinner and Pritchett open for dinner. In general, most people want Pritchett open," said Kimberly S. Hamad '94, president of Senior House.

Hamad, East Campus President Tariq M. Shaukat '94, and Undergraduate Association President Hans C. Godfrey '93 will discuss the proposal with a representative from the Office of Housing and Food Services sometime next week, according to John T. McNeill, associate director of food services.

McNeill said that if students were willing to financially support Pritchett, it would be reopened.

"It's what they feel they can support. There are a number of issues involved. I want to discuss it with the students. I want all of us to make the decision. I want to openly discuss it all and find the best solution," McNeill said.

"I know what I want from food service. We tried to find out what other people wanted," Shaukat said.

"People want something open late at night. People think that the atmosphere of Walker isn't as nice as the late night atmosphere at Pritchett," Shaukat continued.

The UA plans to complement the east side proposal with a survey of what west side students want. Godfrey recognized that the east side residents "are the ones that are hit hardest," but said that the east side proposal along with a UA survey will give a more complete view.

"This is the total picture. We also have to consider west campus residents, the Interfraternity Council, administration, and staff," Godfrey said.

"We're actually trying to give [Food Services] a concrete plan that makes sense fiscally. I think that something can be worked out for the majority of the students," Godfrey continued.

"We're working on something reasonable. But we don't work for housing. We don't know what's workable. I guess it's a two-way street in that respect," Shaukat said.

Financial problems brought about the closure of Pritchett and the shortened hours at Walker at the start of this semester. "We're trying to cut losses. We're in no position to continually run in a deficit situation," McNeill said.

Because McNeill and Food Services have opened up the issue to discussion, students are hopeful that there can be a mutually satisfactory resolution.

"They are definitely listening. I think that something positive can come out of this," Godfrey said.

Shaukat agreed. "I guess that they figured out people weren't too happy. John McNeill seemed to us to be very sincere about doing something. We'd really like to see the proposal implemented from our point of view."