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With Lack of Workers, Pritchett Cuts Hours

By Dudley W. Lamming

The student-run Pritchett Snack Bar located on the second floor of Walker Memorial has been forced to reduce hours because of a shortage of workers.

"We're only open about half the time because we are severely understaffed," said manager Alvar Saenz Otero '98.

The diner, which has usually been staffed by 30 or more people, has only 15 employees this term.

The chief reason is that not enough students have applied for the jobs available, Saenz Otero said.

"The problem is that it's the start of the term," Saenz Otero said. "Unfortunately, many of the freshmen don't realize yet that they need money. This year's freshman class is just not participating."

Lack of staff brings short hours

This is the first year in recent times that Pritchett has had trouble attracting new workers. The problem has been aggravated by the graduation of an unusually large percentage of workers and the departure of several juniors, Saenz Otero said.

"We lost about 10 seniors, and several other students stopped working here for other reasons," he said.

As a result, the Pritchett grill is open from 6 to 11 p.m. Monday to Friday and from noon to 11 p.m. on weekends.

The convenience store is still open full time until 1 a.m. Monday to Friday and from noon to 1 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Saenz Otero, along with Daniel A. Ramirez '99, has been working hard to keep Pritchett open full time.

"We placed more than 50 posters in East Campus, Senior House, and in Walker. We got a total of four responses, two from freshmen, and two upperclassmen," Saenz Otero said. "We didn't poster west campus because in past years, we did that and received no responses. However, I want to make it clear that we will hire anyone, even if they don't know how to turn on a grill," he said.

Aramark might take over

Pritchett's grace period is quickly running out. If students can not fill the more than 15 open positions, there will be no choice but to bring in outsiders for part-time jobs, Saenz Otero said.

Aramark may come in to fill the spots, a possibility that does not please Saenz Otero. "The entire point of Pritchett's is that it's student run," he said. "We don't need Aramark to come in and ruin the food."

Students are already displeased with the shorter hours. "It was only 11 p.m. and everything was closed," said John Cho '99, a Senior House resident.

Others expressed dismay at the possibility that Aramark might change Pritchett substantially.

"First they changed Lobdell from bad to worse. Now they're going to destroy Pritchett's. Pretty soon, I'm going to have to go off campus, and that's really sad," said Julie Tsung '99.

"If Aramarkcomes in, the students can only blame themselves. We will hire anyone, absolutely anyone," Saenz Otero said.