Chartwells: It’s the hours, not the food

One of the highest forms of flattery when you write commentary is suggestions from your readers about writing on a certain subject to get the word out. Numerous friends and readers have expressed their frustration to me about Chartwells. Since I agree with the criticism, I have decided to make Chartwells the subject of this commentary.

Charties or Fartwells? Call it what you will, but it still is Chartwells. The food at the dining halls goes down relatively well, but once it’s down, it does not stay down. The fact that, after meals, students sprint to the bathrooms speaks for itself.

Putting the quality of food aside, the hours of operation at the dining halls are suitable for Seinfeld’s parents’ retirement village at Del Boca Vista. The hours of each meal do not cater to the needs of the students, whom the dining hall is working for. I cannot remember the last time I was awake for breakfast. If you have no classes before eleven, you cannot eat breakfast because the dining hall is closed for an hour to setup for lunch.

During the weekends, breakfast should be served all day. Let’s do a reality check: the number of people awake during breakfast hours on the weekend is usually very slim. Additionally, Chartwells closes at 7 p.m. on weekends. On the weekends, most students are ready for lunch at seven. Last weekend, I walked into Chartwells at 6:45 p.m. for my first serving of food. As I went for seconds, the clock showed exactly 7:00 and all of the dining stations were closed. For the amount that we pay for a meal plan, students deserve the opportunity for seconds.

The dining hall is on campus to feed the students. For most college students, unlike in their high school days, everything is usually done later. We sleep late, we go out late, we are up late doing work, and most of all, we eat late.

When a student is at the mercy of a meal plan, his or her schedule seems to revolve around the hours of Chartwells. The hours of operation should be more flexible to cater to the needs of students. Additionally, Chartwells should continue to serve food beyond closing time to those still dining.

I understand the difficulty of the logistics and organization of running Chartwells; however, the Chartwells issue should be examined by Student Government, since they are the ones who can intervene on behalf of the student body.

By the way, Chartwells was closed during the week of spring break. I had to eat out for every meal; I didn’t complain.

Sam Rega can be contacted at