New dining hall setup full of problems

With the anticipation of a new semester beginning, students returning to Laurier got to see the exciting new changes and renovations that had taken place over the summer months. Unfortunately, change is not always a good thing.

Many students looking to meet up with their friends or grab a bite to eat were stunned when they approached the dining hall and quickly realized they were no longer welcome to it. This renovation would be understandable if it benefited all Laurier students, but instead it functions as a dividing wall, segregating first years from the rest of the student population.

It is commendable that Laurier is attempting to grow and improve the meal plan options for incoming students, however, changes should be made to improve a service and should not be at the expense of others.

At a school that is already limited in space it is disheartening for students to see what valuable study space they had be taken away. On top of being the primary food outlet for most first-year students, the dining hall used to be a study space for all students.

With ample seating and tables available, it was a good alternative to the constantly overcrowded Concourse or library. However, that has become impossible, unless students are willing to pay what is essentially a $12-entrance fee.

The condition that bags must be left outside not only dehumanizes students and labels them as criminals, but essentially disallows the ability to bring in laptops and books for individual and group-study purposes.

Both the university and Aramark did not attempt to get feedback from students or other university officials for such a drastic change. Considering the lack of study space and food options already on campus, this project seems poorly planned.

This concept may work for a larger university that has the space to hold both a first-year and upper-year dining hall, but unfortunately Laurier needs to work within the confines of the space it has and not further reduce it to accommodate a small portion of its students.

–The Cord Editorial Board

4 Comments

  1. I was outraged when I read about the construction of the wall and the new student meal plans. I recently transferred out of Laurier after 2 years at the University but I loved the way the school was set up. Especially the open and bright dining hall where I could meet with my friends. As a first year I had upper year friends and I can’t imagine not being able to grab lunch with them and catch up or even get a cup of coffee before class. A $12 meal is great for dinner or a varsity athlete meal but over priced for a snack or a simple breakfast. NOT a well thought through plan for students.

  2. also wondering about the elevator for accessibility which is located in the dining hall! Which provides access for all the services on that level. As well as providing access for disabled people passing through the dining hall to use the elevator. As a disabled member of the Laurier community I never received any notification of these changes. Nor was I invited to provide input for any accessibility concerns prior to implementing this ill-conceived renovation.

  3. Well, ya know, give ’em time. It’s only been 31 years since the International Year of Disabled Persons.

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