OPINION: South Congress Market reopens, students excited to have more dining options

The South Congress Market reopened this semester. Students on campus are excited about the dining options it offers.

Kathryn O’Pella / Hilltop Views

The South Congress Market reopened this semester. Students on campus are excited about the dining options it offers.

Over the last couple of years, Hunt Hall Cafe has been the only place St. Edward’s students could go to eat on campus. On Jan. 18, the South Congress Market, located on the ground floor of the Ragsdale Center, reopened. Students are slowly rediscovering Ragsdale’s dining options and many are finding they prefer eating there rather than at Hunt. 

“There’s more options in Ragsdale to sit and work,”  junior Jenny Figueroa said. “It’s another place to work besides in the dorms. Very quiet, normally I eat and work outside of Ragsdale outdoors in the hallway.”

The South Congress Market was closed for an extended period of time due to COVID-19. Prior to closure, the market was a busy and popular eating destination. Freshman and new transfer students are less aware of the Ragsdale Center and the eating options available.

However, more students are discovering the South Congress Market in Ragsdale. “There are more and more students coming in since the reopening,” said a cashier.

“[The Ragsdale Center] is a pretty quiet place to be,” sophomore Marielena Bastiba said. “I tried the food yesterday for the first time.The food was good, and I feel that way today. Very chill.”

In contrast, Hunt has remained open during COVID-19. Hunt Hall is located on the east side of campus, requiring students to walk a little further to get food depending on where their classes are located. Hunt offers entrées, hot sandwiches and pizza from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The South Congress Market is centrally located on campus, making it a convenient place to stop in for breakfast, lunch or a snack. The market offers pastries, soups, salads, sandwiches and ice-cream from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“I’m a business student so it’s nice not to walk over to Hunt, and I study in Rags,” junior Brian Kulhanuk said.Trustee Hall is home to The Bill Munday School of Business, which is located just a short walk away from Ragsdale.

Some students wish Ragsdale dining options were opened sooner. When the South Congress Market was closed, the lines at Hunt were longer. 

“Being an athlete, [I] went to Hunt around 4 p.m. or 5 p.m. There’s a rush to eat and they take forever,” freshman baseball player Jack Connolly said. “Too many people in Hunt. Some days I don’t eat lunch because the line is too long.”

Ragsdale is better than Hunt because “there’s healthier options too.”

“I really like Rags,” Connolly said. “It should’ve been opened earlier, definitely nice not to go all the way to Hunt.”