The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Campus dining lacks healthy options for late night students

3 min read

Emilia Michalkiewicz / Staff photographer


Staff Writer

The recent changes in campus dining including the closure of Qdoba and the Underground make it more difficult for students to find a place to eat, especially in the evenings.

Even though the UC extended its dinner service until 8:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, the newest batches of food stop being served about an hour before closing. Katora is open through 9 p.m. seven days a week, but the menu has limited options.

Hissho Sushi closes at 6 p.m. on Monday through Thursday, and at 3 p.m. on Friday. Bodacious Burgers closes at 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and doesn’t serve dinner on Friday.

That leaves students who need to eat dinner late with four options: eat at Vocelli’s, get something from the school’s vending machines, eat something they already have in their dorm, or go out somewhere to eat off-campus. Not all of those options take meal swipes, and the food isn’t as filling or nutritious.

“Evening dining options are overall not very healthy,” said Zhanna Leavitt, a junior biology major. “Vocelli’s is one of the only places that stays open late, but I try to avoid heavy, greasy food. The other option is a vending machine, but that option isn’t super nutritious or filling.”

While Leavitt noted that she still picks up food from The Market in Woodard when she’s in a hurry in between classes, she can no longer find healthy options late in the day.

Senior historic preservation and German major Helen Sande also has trouble finding dinner options on campus with three night-classes on her schedule.

“I can only choose between the UC and Vocelli’s, and often, I choose Vocelli’s before orchestra since it’s closer to Pollard,” said Sande.

Students with night-classes aren’t the only ones who have trouble finding healthy late-night dining options. Although Autumn Phipps, a member of the UMW Quidditch Team, said that her practices don’t affect her nighttime options, her allergy to eggs affects her morning options.

“Egg is a primary serving in the mornings, and I don’t like the sausage or bacon they serve, so I just eat in my dorm for the mornings,” said Phipps.

Since The Market serves a variety of healthy options, it would be beneficial for students if it opened earlier and stayed open later.

“[The Market] helps me not overeat and to get all the nutrients I need,” said Sande. “The UC has a salad bar, but a lot of the dinner food either doesn’t look appetizing or is grossly unhealthy with grease, carbs or meat. The UC also has more temptations for sugary desserts that aren’t healthy either.”

Extended hours could open possible job opportunities and extra money for dining staff. They often brighten students’ days, especially Dora Whiting, a cashier at The Market who’s famous for her “It’s Friday” cheer and friendliness to students.

“[Dora] makes the place very appealing due to her friendliness and kind nature. She is always sweet and makes my day better,” said Sande.

The Market probably wouldn’t see as much traffic as it typically does during the day. It would also take more money and effort to keep the food refrigerated, frozen and stocked, but it would still help students eat more balanced meals when they can’t eat during dining’s current operating hours.

“I would definitely go to [The Market] if it had longer hours since those sandwiches are healthy, filling and they offer good meal deals with fruit as an option. I also like how you can take the food to-go easily instead of with the UC,” said Sande.

“I do believe [The Market] has the potential to be more popular,” agreed Leavitt.