Students returning to Mercyhurst College after fall break will have something to look forward to: board equivalency at the Laker Inn.
Starting on Monday, Oct. 19, the Laker Inn will accept board between 8 a.m. and 11 p.m. Monday through Friday.
“We hope by adding board equivalency to the Laker, it will divide the crowds,” Director of Food Services Kim Novak said. “We have great food over there, too, and the current meal plans weren’t set up to allow students to eat there.”
A committee composed of representatives from Parkhurst Dining Services, the Mercyhurst College administration and Mercyhurst Student Government (MSG) created the proposal in response to numerous student comments and over-crowding at Egan Dining Hall.
“I think it’ll bring life back to the Laker and the Student Union. We really needed this change,” MSG Food Ad Hoc Committee Chair Bridget Toms said.
Meal plan equivalency will be $4.50 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., $5.50 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., $6 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and $5 from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Board equivalency does not cover sushi, bottled beverages or the new bulk candy section Parkhurst plans to add to the Laker sometime in the next month.
In order to keep rates the same for students and increase the number of workers at the Laker, Parkhurst will have to make changes to hours of operation in other facilities.
Egan will now close at 10 p.m. instead of midnight, although the Starbucks and Smoothie bar will remain open until 11 p.m.
“One of our big goals was to improve Egan and make it more of a community. We’ve done that, and now we want to get people back in the Student Union,” Novak said.
The Cantina de Laker will be open 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and the East Street Deli and the Sequoia Grill will be closed on weekends.
The C-Store in Warde Hall receives almost all of its traffic from 4 to 11 p.m. and will no longer have morning hours.
The new proposal is in a trial run until Christmas break to see how students respond, according to Novak.
One concern already raised is that board equivalency does not apply to students with unlimited Egan “metal plans,” the bronze, gold and platinum plans popular among upperclassmen and are the only option for freshmen.
If students do encounter issues with the new proposal, Parkhurst encourages them to submit comments.
“Parkhurst was very open to any communication with students,” Toms said.
“We want everyone to be happy. That’s our goal,” Novak said.
Make your thoughts heard about this and other topics at merciad.mercyhurst.edu.