Lack of dining on Wilkes campus is a problem

Rebecca Bolus, Assistant Life Editor

It’s a Sunday night after a long day and I’m starved.  I look in the refrigerator: nothing.  I look in the cupboards: nothing.  I think to myself, “I can just go across the street to Colonel Gambini’s Café and grab a bite to eat,”  but then realized that they’re already closed, so that is out of the picture.  I don’t have a meal plan on the weekends, so I can’t go to the cafeteria.  Oh, yes, and Rifkin Café is closed as well.

At Wilkes University we have four eating options on campus: Henry’s Food Court, Rifkin Café, Colonel Gambini’s Café, and the Lobby Smart Market in Stark Learning Center.  Henry’s Food Court is open Monday through Thursday until 11 p.m. On weekends, the cafeteria closes early.  Rifkin Café is open Monday through Thursday until 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday until midnight (on Saturday they don’t open until 7 p.m.), and Sunday they’re closed.  Colonel Gambini’s Café is open Monday through Friday until 3 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday until 1:30 p.m.  Lobby Smart Market in Stark is only open Monday through Friday until 2 p.m.

These hours are hard for students to work around between sports, part-time jobs, and extracurricular activities.  In addition, not all students have a meal plan on the weekends.  So, if a student does not have a meal plan where can they go on weekends with Rifkin’s closed on Sundays and with limited hours on Saturday, and Colonel Gambini’s Café only being open until 1:30?  Wilkes University already has limited dining options for students and it does not help that their hours are even more limited.

Along with very few places to eat on campus with not so great hours, there are repetitive food options.  Lobby Smart market in Stark sells the exact same “to go” products that Rifkin does.  Also, Rifkin and Gambini’s Café have similar food choices.  That leaves the cafeteria.  I, personally, get sick of the cafeteria and wish there was some place to go where Wilkes students can use their dining dollars that is opened later and has different types of a food.  Students pay enough to attend Wilkes University, so they deserve adequate meal alternatives.

Wilkes University should invest in opening a café where students are able to use their dining dollars that is open 7 days a week at least until 11 p.m. during the week all day until midnight on weekends.  Wilkes needs a more late-night atmosphere for a café that sells grill-like products (burgers, fries, etc.)  that are not available at Rifkin or Gambini’s.  This could be an investment really worthwhile.  This not only will benefit the students, but the university as well.  An eating place of that nature could be popular, bringing in more revenue for Wilkes.  Weekends are tough for me in deciding what I’m going to eat.  With a late night eating option, that would not have to be a worry any more.