Lengthy wait to get food; Hunt, Ragsdale may see renovations

It has been noticed by many of the St. Edward’s University population that getting food at Hunt Hall and Ragsdale Center is a process and only getting longer.

With the freshmen enrollment at St. Edward’s increasing each year and currently at its highest ever enrollment rate, this means one thing for the students and faculty — longer cafeteria lines.

“The long cafeteria lines are something that is getting annoying, especially during peak times,” freshman Gabrielle Dena said.

While the freshmen class is increasing, little is being done to accommodate the rise in food demand on campus. Some students believe that these long lines are due to overcrowding in the dining halls.

“I think there’s enough staff, but we don’t have enough space for their service. That’s the issue,” sophomore Gabriel Calderaro said.

Ragsdale Center was last renovated in 2003 when the freshmen enrollment stood at 546 students. In 2009, Hunt and LeMans were both constructed in 2009 and at that time the freshmen enrollment was at 757 students. This year, the freshmen class has grown to 811 students and the structures of the dining halls have remained the same.

However, this may change soon change. There are plans for renovations in Hunt and Ragsdale, according to Michael Smith, general manager of Bon Appétit.

At Hunt and Ragsdale, the items in the grill line are made to order, which take more time. The food in the dining halls is also freshly cooked which partly explains why the wait can take a while.

“We do not cook it all at once. A small batch for everything does take more time, but it makes it fresher,” Smith said.

Students have suggested solutions for the long lines.

“I really think that there should be two lines in Hunt Hall. The grill and entrees are way too close, and if they expanded that, people could get through way quicker than having one line for two different things,” sophomore Natalie Sizemore said.

Although the lines in the dining halls have been a concern to students, some do not think that the lines are a big issue.

“There’s not much you can do about the lines. It’s not realistic to make the area bigger,” junior Adam Littleton said.

Despite this disparity, there seems to be a consensus among the St. Edward’s community that expanding the dining hours would be beneficial, and an idea that Smith would be open to listening to.

“It is a constraint to have to rush to the dining halls before 8:00 p.m., and then the Huddle has very limited options,” freshman Alexandria Ruiz said.

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