Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Sodexo should not limit dining options for students

Julia Ahaesy
Smith Hall at Suffolk University

It seems like Suffolk students are constantly upset with the current dining system in some way or form. The lack of options for those with dietary restrictions (that students can actually live off of), sky-high prices and limited hours of service are all complaints students have voiced. One of the biggest complaints however hits one particular group especially hard. 

For a school that prides itself on being largely comprised of commuter students, dining options for off-campus students are extremely unwelcoming. 

The dining halls located within Suffolk’s Miller and Smith residence halls are only allowed to be used by the student’s living in those buildings, with the exception that students living in 10 West can also use the Smith hall cafe. These are the only two dining halls on campus that remain open on weekends and past 8 p.m. on weekdays according to the dining services website.

Even with a Suffolk ID, students that don’t live in these buildings cannot access the dining halls.

Not allowing all students at Suffolk to access these dining halls both limits students’ options for food on campus, and is causing the university to miss out on an easy source of revenue. Suffolk and Sodexo alike are choosing to ignore an opportunity to make them both significantly more money than what they are currently. And this is not just a weekday problem.

Although class may not be in session on weekends, hundreds of students, especially commuters, are actively on campus. Resources, computers and a quiet place to work and study draw many students to campus for the library. Unfortunately for them, the cafe in the 73 building is closed. An easy alternative would be to direct hungry students to the dining hall in the Miller building. If only they could!

By not allowing any student with a Suffolk ID to access the dining halls located in Smith and Miller halls, students are either forced to eat off-campus or bring their own food. Even that is not enough sometimes, especially for those late nights in the library when leaving isn’t an option but snacks and meals have already been eaten.

As stated before, most of the cafes and dining halls located in academic buildings close by 8 p.m. The two major food-based cafes, 73 Cafe and Samia Cafe close at 5 p.m., only leaving the Starbucks locations open, which barely provide students with actual meals and food containing nutritional value.

A “secret” Suffolk dining hall is the cafe located in Sargent Hall, which is open until 7:45 p.m. Also a small secret, this cafe serves curly fries (you’re welcome). Very few students know where this cafe even is, since most undergraduate classes are split between 73 Tremont, Sawyer and the Samia buildings. Most students don’t know that this cafe is open and available, and Suffolk is doing students a disservice by keeping this hidden gem from general knowledge.

Suffolk University’s Vice President of Communication Greg Gatlin said security is the largest reason why students can’t eat in the dining halls of residence halls unless they live there. In an email, Gatlin explained that “To ensure the security of residential students living in Miller and Smith Halls, the cafes in those buildings have been designated for the use of students residing in Smith, Miller and 10 West/Modern. Residence students in Miller and Smith halls may sign in guests who are permitted to use the cafes if accompanied by a resident of Miller and Smith Halls.”

However, a majority of students, especially upperclassmen and commuter students most likely don’t know anyone who lives in the dorms, making that solution impossible.

All Suffolk students should be able to access the dining halls, regardless of whether they live on or off-campus. Security clearly isn’t the problem, as anyone can walk into Sawyer or Samia without even signing in, and these students who would be going to these dining halls would still be signing in. 

A simple solution to this would be requiring these students to sign into the dining halls and leave some form of identification at the security desk, just like students who are signed into the building as guests would, but without needing to have a resident sign them in. 

It is extremely inconvenient for students to have no dining halls open to them on weekends or later in the evening unless they live on campus. Something needs to be done to accommodate Suffolk’s commuter students more than what is being done now.

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About the Contributors
Phoebe Adams
Phoebe Adams, Copy Editor | she/her
Phoebe is the Copy Editor for the Suffolk Journal. She is a senior at Suffolk University studying Journalism with minors in Spanish and English. Phoebe is from Townsend, Massachusetts and is currently involved with Theta Phi Alpha Fraternity. She can often be found reading and exploring the city with friends. She hopes to continue to improve her writing while working for The Journal, and hopes to help others improve as well. Follow Phoebe on Twitter @PhoebeAdams98  
Julia Ahaesy
Julia Ahaesy, Opinion Editor, Social Media Manager | she/her
Julia is a senior studying public relations at Suffolk University. Along with her roles of co-opinion editor and co-social media editor at The Suffolk Journal, she writes weekly for her column, Student and the City. On the few occasions she is not writing, you can find her buried in the latest issue of Vogue, wandering the city, or drinking too much coffee. Native to Massachusetts, she will be joining the Massachusetts Air National Guard after graduation. She is currently studying abroad in London, England. Julia hopes to continue traveling as she explores the arts and culture industries in her future. Follow Julia on Twitter @juliaahaesy Email her at [email protected]

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Sodexo should not limit dining options for students