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The Greyhound

The Greyhound

The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

Boulder Café isn’t the same


The rumors are true: Boulder Garden Café will no longer provide a to-go option for Loyola students during All-You-Care-to-Eat dining times.

Since the start of the fall semester, the popular to-go box containers have been removed from the Boulder dining hall during dinner hours (5 p.m. to 9 p.m.), “a decision made by the University,” Marketing and Wellness Manager of Boulder and the Student Center, Lindsay Winn, said.

To-go options will still be offered during breakfast and lunch periods of the day, but once the cafeteria switches to its dinner options and All You Care to Eat, the dine-in only policy is put into effect.

In the University’s eyes, the to-go boxes were only meant to be a temporary solution. Boulder “only had the to-go option when Boulder was congested due to lack of space. After opening Boulder 2.0 last fall, we realized space [was] no longer an issue,” Director of Campus Services, Jennifer Wood, said. “All You Care to Eat facilities do not traditionally have to-go boxes,” she said, “and it was never our intention to have a to-go option indefinitely.”

One of the major problems Wood cites is the students entering and eating a single meal in Boulder during AYCE hours, but leaving the dining hall with a second full meal in a to-go container.

This habit “significantly impacts food costs and rather than increasing the meal plan costs, [the University] thought just removing this option was probably better for the entire student body,” Wood said. Other dining locations on campus, like Flannery Market and Iggy’s Market, provide to-go meals through the use of a meal swipe.

This policy is not the only new change being introduced in Boulder’s new dining format. To ensure that all students have purchased a meal before entering either dining area, no student who does not intend to swipe in and eat is allowed to walk through Boulder during AYCE times..

In the past, walking through Boulder without swiping in had been allowed as a convenience for students to efficiently make their way to Hillside or into the Student Center. However, in the midst of this common practice, more than 20 students were found “passing through” Boulder only to end up at a table and eating a meal during a 24-hour period last week.

“As you can imagine, this is a bit shocking and upsetting as our team was trying to to work with students and allow them to walk through to save time,” Wood explained. “This is has been happening quite frequently this semester and unfortunately, we can no longer allow this as a convenience.” Wood stated that signage will be posted around campus explaining the new policy, and additional information will be provided via Loyola Today.

As these new policies have been implemented in Boulder, the past week and a half has seen a massive backlash from the student body. Dozens of students submitted formal complaints to Campus Services, outlining their frustrations and confusion with the new policies, and how they will be a detriment to the wellbeing of the student body.

“It is extremely unsettling that this rule is infringing on my Loyola experience,” one student wrote. “What I truly cannot wrap my head around is the negligence of not informing the student body that this [is] what to expect from now on. Three years of a routine leads to expectations and I feel as though you have tricked students into buying a meal plan that they won’t be able to use as intended.”

Jacob Good ‘19, outlined scenarios when to-go boxes were essential to the schedules of certain students.

“What about the kids with 6 p.m. or 6:30 p.m. classes who have other activities or commitments leading up to them who rely on using to-go boxes for dinner?” Good said. “I know at least for me, I had tennis practice until 6 p.m., then a class at 6:30 p.m. I got back to Boulder at 6:15 p.m., grabbed some food to go, then went and ate at my class with my professor’s permission.”

He also detailed how no to-go option will force students to sit alone in Boulder because their schedules don’t match up with their friends, or sacrifice a full meal in order to have extra study time. These situations haven’t been experienced by Good alone, but rather by the majority of the student body.

Even commuter students, like Franko Albayrak ‘20, are impacted by this policy. “People who don’t live on campus might have more trouble spending time [in Boulder],” Albayrak said. “As a commuter, sometimes I have to go home, so I need a quick food option to take with me.”

But the response to the to-go policy didn’t stop there. Earlier this week, an anonymous online petition was created titled “Bring Back Boulder Boxes.” The tagline reads, “Loyola University Maryland has deemed it necessary to prevent its students from eating where they wish. Loyola students have busy schedules and should not be told where they can and cannot eat. Bring Back Boulder Boxes immediately.”

The link has quickly spread across campus, and at the current moment of this article’s publication, there are 1,583 total signatures in support of the cause.

And on Wednesday, after meeting with Student Government Association (SGA) representatives, the Office of Vice President of Policy and Advocacy released a statement regarding the recent uprise to the new policy, and what to expect moving forward.

“After further discussion amongst [the] four SGA representatives and Jen [Wood], we developed new solutions that are pending implementation by the end of this week. If not, definitely the end of this month. During this time, we ask that you continue to respect the current policies in place as well as the Boulder Dining staff who were not the ones to implement such policies.”

The administration encourages students with any further questions or concerns to reach out to their representatives via email at either [email protected] or [email protected]

Follow The Greyhound on social media to keep up with the latest updates in this story.

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Boulder Café isn’t the same