Saturday night dinners at Seibel Servery have been discontinued, but the Ambassador Cafe is hosting dinner at South Servery this semester instead, according to Housing and Dining Senior Business Director David McDonald. Additionally, H&D is in the process of creating a way for Tetra swipes to be used off campus at nearby Houston restaurants, McDonald said.
Last semester, H&D piloted a program at Seibel Servery where students could purchase dinner on Saturdays from 5 to 7 p.m. The purpose of the service was to aid low-income students who may not be able to afford eating off campus. Students could pay for the meals using Tetra points or any unused guest swipes.
Student Association Vice President Hannah Todd said that while a survey had demonstrated a need for a Saturday dinner, dinners at Siebel turned out to not be a popular alternative, and there were too few students participating for the program to be continued this semester. According to H&D Manager of Communications Susann Glenn, the most students to participate in the program in one night was five while six people staffed the kitchen and some nights no students showed up. Todd said she did not think it fair to call the pilot program a failure or a success.
“It really is just a telling example of what students want and don't want,” Todd, a Wiess College junior, said. “They don't want Saturday dinners at Seibel, so we will try to think of a more appealing option that can also be accessible to students from all backgrounds.”
This semester, Saturday night dinners are hosted by the Ambassador Cafe from 6 to 8 p.m. at South Servery or until the food sells out, McDonald said. Students can pay for the meals using cash, Tetra points or guest swipes, though guest swipes only have a value of up to $7.50. The first night of the program, 40 students were in attendance, according to McDonald. He said he hopes this number eventually will rise to 75 to 100 students each Saturday. McDonald said the program could be expanded if many students take advantage of it.
“If the numbers are there, then the sky’s the limit for what we can do,” McDonald said.
This article has been revised from the print version to reflect the additional information that Ambassador Cafe will now be hosting Saturday night dinners.