Early Friday Hours at Commons Could Change

Alyx Duckett
Contributing Writer

Student evaluations of dining services could expand hours at Student Commons for venues that close at 2 p.m. on Fridays.

The majority of dining options at Commons close earlier on Fridays than the rest of the school week. The early closures raised questions and complaints from some students.

Sarah Jones, a radiology sophomore at Virginia Commonwealth University, has experienced problems with the early Friday closures.

“It’s inconvenient because not only do people have class after two,” Jones said, “But a lot of people live on campus that want to go there to get away from the dorm life or to grab something to eat.”

Dining Services is preparing to conduct a student survey to hear about potential improvements like expanding hours.

Dan McDonald, the assistant director of the department of business services at VCU said, “If we pick up on our surveys that the hours need to be extended, we will certainly explore that.”

The hours for the Commons are listed on the VCU website as 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, while the hours on Friday are 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. These hours exclude Subway and Pizza Hut, which stay open until 10 p.m. and 11:30 p.m., repspectively. The dining options that close early Fridays are Chick-Fil-A, Nao and Zen, Grille Works and Salads and Wraps.

VCU Information Assistant Andrea Elkovich says she receives a lot of inquiries from students about the early Friday closure hours.

“I definitely do get a lot of complaints like ‘there’s nothing to eat on the weekends,’ ”Elkovich said.

Jones says she thinks it would be more convenient for students if the Commons were open for a couple more hours on Friday since this is where students mainly use their swipes and dining dollars.

Tamara Highsmith, of Dining Sales and Services Manager at VCU, says they will look at whether businesses can support the extended hours and may do a test trial to see how well sales are with extended hours on Fridays. The hours set now are based off the population of the campus on Fridays and the sales.

“We’ll look at what makes sense for the students and for us financially,” Highsmith said. “We can’t open if were going to lose money.”

Three new venues opening up next fall will help students with more places to eat, McDonald said.

“The extended hours may not necessarily be over at the Commons but we may, with these new venues, extend available hours for Fridays and weekends,” McDonald said.

To make suggestions, visit the Dining Services website at VCU:

http://www.campusdish.com/en-us/CSMA/VirginiaCommonwealth

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