Virginia Tech has the best on-campus dining in the country. From Turner Place at Lavery Hall’s gourmet hibachi steakhouse and handmade bagels to West End Market’s filet mignon and Sunday brunch, dining services has got it right. The only problem with the award-winning dining halls is their closing times.
All the dining halls, except for DX, Deet’s Place and select restaurants in Turner Place, close either between 7-9 p.m. each day, meaning if you wish to eat on campus, you have to brave the huge crowds packing each dining hall between the peak dinner hours of 6-7 p.m.
What happens if you have a class in the middle of that time period? I have a class on Thursday that ends at 6:35 p.m., so I can either go straight from my class to eat, or have dinner at 5 p.m. before my class starts. Like many other students I have talked to, my eating schedule is absurd, thanks to these awkward class times and the dining centers’ closing hours.
For example, I may have lunch at 1 or 2 p.m. because I have a class at noon, then dinner at 6 p.m., but what happens when I am hungry again at 11 after studying for a few hours? Of course there is DX, but after a while, that becomes tiring.
The dining hours take a toll on study habits as well. I cannot study when I am hungry because I am unable to focus. This transfers over to my recall abilities when trying to learn new information. I will not remember the information I want to because my brain is not stimulated and I am hungry.
If the dining halls simply remained open until 10:30 p.m., it would make it much easier to have a late dinner or get a meal before another round of studying. I know this would mean making our wonderful Dining Services staff work later hours, but it would benefit the overall academic achievement of the student body.
Instead of going to DX and buying four food items, I could simply go purchase one meal at Owen’s Hall and have the energy to study without my stomach rumbling for my next meal.
This would also help students with their eating schedule. We could have later lunches because there are more options for a later dinner. Instead of having to starve through an assignment, the dining halls would present a way to get the necessary nutritional requirements to achieve a good grade.
The later dining hours would also provide yet another place for convenient studying, especially for freshmen — since all the dining halls, excluding Turner Place, are on the residential side of campus.
Later dining hours would make the already amazing cuisine options more accessible and help students perform better academically. I mean, who doesn't want to study after consuming a grilled chicken caesar wrap from West End?