By Grace Welsh–
University of Louisville is under scrutiny by the student body as a result of abrupt changes to the hours of several dining locations for the remainder of the spring semester.
Louie’s Corner, Einstein Bros. Bagels and the Chick-fil-A at HSC Commons will be closed for the remainder of the semester, while most other locations are available for limited hours during the weekday, and closed on the weekends.
Students and parents were not hesitant to voice their opinions in the comment section of the Instagram post and on a Change.org petition asking for compensation for U of L students for the new limited dining hours.
Hayleigh Walker, a sophomore pre-med Spanish major who started the petition with freshman Sydney Webb, said, “As soon as I saw the new posted dining hours I knew this was the wrong move, so I messaged @uofldining on Instagram wanting an explanation.”
She said that their response seemed performative and looked scripted, so after posting to the university’s Facebook Campus social page, she took the initiative to create the petition. The petition now has over 1,700 signatures.
After word caught on, students shared the petition on a myriad of social platforms and flocked to the comment section to tell U of L’s dining services how they felt.
On the original post, junior Rachel Barrsaid, “Why can you take away our dining options but still require us to buy a full meal plan?? We have to eat, and not just between 10-2. This is not at all ok.”
Sophomore Savannah Quach agreed and said, “It’s clear that U of L does not care for its students or dining staff, only profits and their own convenience.”
Others left short and sweet comments, such as freshman social work major Cakki Holm, who asked, “Are we not allowed to eat on the weekends?”
Sophomore Stephanie Price, a SPAD major, said, “U of L’s just kickin’ us while we’re already down.”
Students and parents also left a multitude of comments on the Change.org petition, discussing their concerns over the drastic decision.
Junior mechanical engineering major Jordan Campbell said, “Being required to buy a meal plan then having a very small time selection for the food I can buy with the meal plan is wrong.”
One anonymous U of L parent said, “As a parent I am outraged!!! This is no way to treat these students.”
Other students discussed the harm this would have on vegetarians and students with dietary restrictions, who won’t have as many options throughout the week.
All U of L students living on-campus or studying full-time are required to buy a meal plan each semester, the cheapest being $300 for commuters and $1,745 for those living in traditional dorms.
Just days after the announcement, U of L sent an email to its students reminding them that their flex points and meal swipes will expire at the end of spring semester finals. Freshmen are especially affected by these changes, as most first-year dorms lack kitchens.
U of L Dining Services responded to the abundance of criticism by sending an email to the student body, justifying their decision by saying there was a “39% reduction in students, faculty, staff and visitors on campus during the COVID-19 pandemic” and urging students to fill out this survey.
It is unclear yet if any changes will be made since the backlash.
File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal