Updated Tue, Sep 3, 2013 9:58 am
After moving into dormitories last weekend and attending classes during the first week of Ohio University’s fall semester, it’s safe to say that new and returning students had a lot on their plates. But many students had to endure long wait times to actually get food on their plates at the university’s dining halls early in the week.
Jess Walters, a sophomore who transferred to OU this year, said she wasn’t happy about having to wait for 45 minutes to get something to eat at Shively Hall on the first day of school. She said the line to get into the dining hall extended up the hill near Morton Hall on Monday.
After telling her parents about her first few days on the Athens campus, her father George Walters decided to call Ohio University to get some answers regarding the university’s dining halls.
“I was told that’s the way it’s been for 20 years now and they can’t change it,” George Walters told The Messenger. As a 1980 alumnus of OU, Walters said he didn’t experience such wait times to eat at the dining halls as a Bobcat.
Walters said he was concerned that students and parents are paying for meal plans that students don’t have time to use because they don’t have enough time between classes to wait in the long lines.
As the university plans to build new dormitories, Walter said there are no plans to support those additional rooms with more dining options.
Jess Walters said on Friday that the wait times at the dining halls lessened as the week progressed.
“I don’t think it will be a problem going forward,” she said, but added that the long wait times during the first few days of class make a bad first impression on new students.
“If this is a common problem during the beginning of the school year, then they should have more people working or additional computers to swipe people out,” she said.
Some of Walter’s fellow Bobcats agreed.
On Wednesday, OU freshman Nicole Krystofik said she had to wait at least 15 minutes to get into Shively Dining Hall.
“I’ve had to rush while eating,” she said.
Freshmen Jon Bradford, Will Rhodes and Quinn Corrado said that they had to wait at least 30 minutes to get into dining halls on campus last week, plus wait another 20 minutes to actually get their food and then another 10 minutes to get out the door.
“Nothing’s quick,” one of the men said, adding that the dining halls aren’t convenient.
The three said that they live close to Shively, but it’s worth walking the extra five minutes to Nelson Dining Hall because the lines were shorter.
“The food’s not bad. It’s better than high school cafeteria food,” Rhodes said.
“The salad bar’s pretty good,” added Corrado.
Ohio University referred The Messenger to Dan Pittman, assistant director of auxiliary sales at OU, regarding wait times at the dining halls. Pittman did not provide answers to questions before The Messenger’s news deadline but did state via email, “It’s been a busy opening week as we continue to fine-tune our operations for Fall Semester 2013.”