The Laker Inn officially closed for extensive renovations a few weeks ago.
The renovations the Laker is undergoing include the addition of a pub, which is already a controversial topic in and of itself.
But while the construction of the pub has garnered a lot of attention, I think that the closing of the Laker should be talked about more.
Students across the campus of Mercyhurst University are already feeling the impact of the Lakers closing.
Many students only have dining dollars, which already makes it hard for them to find a good place on campus to buy a meal outside of the Laker Inn.
There are other impacts to dining on campus as well.
For example, now only the Ryan Hall Grab n’ Go is available for al a carte purchases.
Sometimes, it’s nice to just get a burger or a salad, instead of a complete buffet.
As for myself, at the beginning of the year I went to the Laker Inn for lunch every day.
I really liked how there were options for large salads, sandwiches and burritos that were different from any of the other dining halls here at Mercyhurst.
I also liked how anyone could enter the Laker, even if they did not buy anything.
This allowed friends to meet there, regardless of whether everyone wished to purchase a meal or not.
As I am only a sophomore this year, this is the first time I was able to fully utilize the Laker Inn with my meal plan.
It was a disappointment when I learned of the reduced hours at the beginning of the semester, as was it a disappointment when I heard that the Laker Inn was closing down.
The closing of the Laker also led to the crowding of the other dining halls on campus.
Even with the opening of the 501 Grille in Ryan Hall this semester, I still noticed that Grotto Commons became busier during the dinner hours.
There are far more people packed into those spaces now.
With the Laker Inn closing for the majority of the rest of the academic year, the lunch rush is likely to increase around campus as well.
In addition, the Laker is located near many classrooms around campus.
This made the Laker an incredibly convenient place on campus to stop for lunch, or to grab something to eat between classes or even to grab a boxed meal to bring back to your apartment.
Without the Laker, meals are becoming more stressful, especially for those who have a packed schedule during the day.
Lunchtime is supposed to be a time for relaxation and unwinding, not worrying about if I will make it to my next class on time.
If you have little time between classes, you really felt the closing of the Laker.
I am finding myself rearranging my schedule to ensure that I have time to go to Grotto Commons for lunch as it is closest to my classes.
Before, I never had to arrange my schedule around dining, but this recent change has brought it to that.
It is far less convenient on the whole.
Furthermore, my friends and I usually eat dinner at Grotto Commons, but the crowding has made it harder to do so.
Beyond that, without the Laker Inn we now have fewer options for meals throughout the rest of the day.
Now it feels as if the only options available for dining on campus are Ryan Hall and the Grotto Commons.
It’s not all negative, though.
There is one thing I’m looking forward to from the closing of the Laker. That is the Laker’s eventual reopening with all its new renovations.
I think that sprucing up the Laker Inn is a net good for the campus on the whole.
I am definitely looking forward to seeing the new Laker Inn in the spring!