New dining commons to include continuous service

April 25, 2011, 12:01 a.m.

With the Arrillaga Family Dining Commons set to open next fall, Stanford Dining has announced plans to offer extended dining service between current mealtimes. The new service will offer meals between breakfast and lunch as well as between lunch and dinner during weekdays, at no additional cost to students on a Stanford Dining meal plan. The Board of Trustees approved the change when setting tuition rates for the 2011-12 academic year.

The new continuous service strives to accommodate students who miss regular meal periods, perhaps due to conflicting class schedules, according to Stanford Dining Executive Director Eric Montell. Currently, students on a Stanford meal plan generally have food available from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. and 5:15 to 7 p.m., with hours varying slightly among the 10 undergraduate dining halls.

However, the plan falls short of creating a 24-hour eatery, an idea that was bandied about by various candidates and officials during ASSU elections. In their platform, newly elected ASSU President Michael Cruz ’12 and Vice President Stewart Macgregor-Dennis ’13 proposed having 24-hour access to fruit, cereal, milk and juice.

In an attempt to gauge student support for 24-hour dining, Deepa Kannappan ’13, a former Senator, administered an email survey to undergraduates at the beginning of winter quarter. The 300 responses revealed high interest in having more food options available between regular meal times but little interest in having food available from 2:30 to 7 a.m.

In another change to current options, late night dining on East Campus will be moved from Stern to Arrillaga. The hours will remain the same, 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., but the menu will be expanded to include a “Fit and Healthy” menu consisting of items that are 550 calories or fewer. Components of the new menu will be launched this quarter, according to Montell.

Montell added that Stanford Dining would evaluate the effectiveness of the continuous dining pilot program throughout the course of the next academic year, measuring student involvement in the program.

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