February 21, 2012

Dining Disaster: U of L dining services deals with multiple malfunctions

By Caitlyn Crenshaw–

On Monday, Feb. 13 students may have had to start their day without a latte or muffin.

University of Louisville dining services, run independently by the company Sodexo, posted on their Twitter feed, “We can only accept meal plan or cash at this time. Sorry for any inconvenience as we repair the register system.”

Along with the delay of services on Feb. 13, there had been several preceding shutdowns of dining services in the SAC. Dining in the multi-purpose room endured two late openings on Jan. 31 and Feb. 2 due to gas line maintenance and lack of hot water. The dining services website also went down on Feb. 6 and on Feb. 7, Damon’s Grill closed down for the entire day.

If you ask some students, long lines and technical complications have become a staple at some of the on-campus dining facilities. The U of L dining services website advertises their services as, “so easy and convenient, we’ve put it on auto pilot.”

Student John Doyle begs to differ.

“It’s a hassle.” Doyle, a junior justice administration major, said that the recent technical problems of dining services “bring down morale in the [campus] community.”

Brenne Muncy, a senior biology major, said the technical problems are, “usually only at the beginning of semester when they are still working out all of the kinks.” The rest of the semester “is normal,” once the initial upsets are overcome, he said.

But with the recent rash of technical difficulties, students have taken notice.

Kasey Johnson said, “it is a pain and… inconvenience, especially when you have no time in between classes.” As a solution, she suggested, “maybe having backup machines for when the others mess up.”

The dining services Twitter feed usually announces when their services are corrected and fully functional. On Tuesday, Feb. 14, U of L dining services tweeted, “All registers are up and running today, accepting all forms of payment.”

A representative from Sodexo was unable to be reached to comment.

Although on-campus students can go elsewhere to purchase their aforementioned latte, some off-campus students say they are not only noticing, but bothered.

Marissa Kreiler, a sophomore dental hygiene major and an off-campus student, said “I think it gives students who only have a meal plan an advantage over those who are paying with cash or a credit card.”

Doyle believes, “If you don’t have a system that’s working, get a system with the resources to back it up so it’ll work.”

When students living on campus are paying from $930 to $1,460 for the required meal plan, “It’s a bad reflection on the whole meal plan system in general,” he said.

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Photo: Shelby Stafford/The Louisville Cardinal

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