|CDS changes: Talcott nixed
CDS announces tentative plans in meeting Tuesday
By Douglass Dowty
Campus Dining Services is due for a makeover.
Proposed changes for next year include shuttering Talcott, pioneering a lunch
cart in the Science Center, returning takeout service to Dascomb, opening the Rathskellar in the
evenings and closing DeCafé at 9 p.m. daily.
The tentative changes, presented by CDS Director Jack Cahill to the Housing
and Dining Committee, drew mixed responses. All committee members urged CDS to reconsider closing
DeCafé early. CDS said they hoped to shift the night staff from DeCafé to the Rathskellar
so students could use the prepared food line in the Rat, which would stay open until 1 a.m.
We have been hearing all year that people want the Rat reopened at night,
Cahill remarked. Were doing this based on what students have told us. The committee
responded by hinting that input to reopen the Rat was in the wake of fourth meals move to
Dascomb, not as a substitute to DeCafé.
Cahill said that his office would reconsider the plans, but said that the Student
Union, which runs Wilder, would also have a say on the issue. He stressed that there was no possibility
that fourth meal would be moved back to the Rat.
Weve seen that 35 percent more students eat at Dascomb than at
the Rat last year, he said.
Another likely change will affect the way meals are purchased at Dascomb. Food
next year will be charged on an a la carte, or item by item, basis. Board meals will be assigned
a certain value amount that can then be spent on individual purchases. Cahill said that each board
meal would grant a student between $7 and $8 to spend, and assured nobody is going to leave
the dining hall hungry.
With the current all-you-can-eat system, students opting for takeout can stockpile
enough food for several meals, something CDS cannot afford.
Food costs fell by 70 percent after the takeout program was ended at Dascomb a year ago,
The most innovative part of the CDS proposal is a lunch cart that will stand
in the atrium of the Science Center and be open from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The menu items will
include prepackaged sandwiches and other light snacks. Food will be available for purchase through
If people still want handmade salads or prepared sandwiches with extra
mayo, theyre still going to go to the DeCafé, Cahill said, stressing that the
lunch cart will offer packaged items only. But we feel having this open during the lunch
hour will reduce stress on the traditional dining halls.
The most drastic but expected measure the closure of Talcott
was met with reluctant approval by the committee.
If we decide we want the cart in the Science Center and the services
in Wilder, we will need to close Talcott, CDS Associate Director Michelle Gross said. Those
are absolutely connected.
After the presentation, some in the committee voiced concern that CDS had chosen
a path toward more Flex options that students would not be able to afford.
When I was a freshman, the grocery was this small, useless thing and
we had plenty of Flex, Student Senator Tom Simchak said. Now we have lots more options
and not enough Flex.
Cahill responding by saying he hoped the next options would give a lot
more flexibility and benefit to students.
No reductions in board plan Flex allotments will be made next year, he said
in closing. I really dont think theres any chance that the board plan is going