New Mercyhurst dining hours set

Sarah Klein, Contributing writer

For students returning to Mercyhurst this August, the new dining facility hours quickly became a hot topic around campus.

The Grotto Commons dining hall is open daily from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and it now serves dinner until closing time.

The new Ryan Hall dining facility is open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., while the Ryan Hall Grab and Go is open daily from 7:30 a.m. until 1:30 a.m., featuring snacks, Grab-and-Go Meals as well as a coffee bar. The Ryan Hall convenience store also gives students the option to grab a quick late-night snack or early morning coffee before class.

The Laker Inn has seen reduced hours, and it is now open Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

According to Dean Schoenfeldt, Parkhurst general manager, the reason for these changes to the dining hall schedules is to make hours consistent throughout the week so students don’t have to keep track of different hours on different days.

In addition, Parkhurst has tried to “balance a class schedule vs. evening,” said Schoenfeldt.

“Ryan Hall is open later because more students are on that side of campus” in the evening, he said.

The new hours have caused a controversy around campus, with many mixed opinions. Some students appreciate the earlier weekend hours that Ryan Hall offers.

“I’m a big fan of being able to eat breakfast earlier than 10 a.m. on the weekends,” said sophomore History major Ethan Wagner, who lives in Ryan.
However, for freshmen living farther away from Ryan Hall, the reduced hours at Grotto Commons can affect their late-night dining.

Freshman Education major Gabriela Damasceno expressed her wish that Grotto Commons was “open later on weekdays, 10 or 10:30 p.m.”

The Laker is set to close down in early October to allow for the construction of the pub being added to the lower level of the Student Union, with the goal to re-open around the beginning of spring term, Schoenfeldt said.

Although the current Laker Inn hours will remain in affect even after the pub opens next semester, the pub will provide a dinner and late-night option to all students seven days a week. Many details of the pub have not been officially decided and require cooperation between Parkhurst and Mercyhurst’s administration.

Tentatively within the next two weeks, Parkhurst hopes to unveil its new app Food U, which will be available for all students to access on any smart device. The app will provide information about hours and menus for each dining facility around campus, including space to voice suggestions or add comments.

The current dining schedule is in effect until Sept. 15, after which they are subject to change. There is also a forum scheduled for Sept. 17 at 8 p.m. in the Student Union, during which students can voice their opinions on the new dining hours and the pub.