Weekend servery schedule to change
Beginning next semester, the weekend schedules for each of the serveries will be reconfigured following the opening of East Servery. South and West Serveries will be closed all day on Saturdays, while the Baker and Sid Richardson Serveries will be closed on Sundays.In order to alleviate the pressure on South to feed most of the population of the south residential colleges, the individual serveries of Baker College and Sid Richardson College have been open on Sundays this semester. According to Director of Residential Dining David McDonald, without these additional serveries available, South would have been over its capacity. This was a one-semester anomaly, however, and will no longer occur once East opens.
McDonald said there is low attendance on Saturdays regardless, with 25 percent of the usual traffic of students visiting the serveries to eat breakfast and lunch.
"We are focused on maximizing the dollar in student meal plans," McDonald said. "It will be less wasteful and more efficient if the projected meal costs are consolidated into only two serveries."
According to McDonald, having only East and North Serveries open will be sufficient for service. McDonald said North was chosen to remain open due to its large kitchen and its capacity to accommodate students from up to five residential colleges. East was chosen because it is more centrally located and to encourage students to eat at the university's newest servery.
"With more serveries, we will need more staff, even though approximately the same amount of meals will be served all over campus," McDonald said. "The new schedule will make sure that we stay on the same economic path, since being financially static is better for the university."
McDonald said the schedule changes will not affect the dining traffic during the rest of the week. East will relieve the pressures on South, but the number of card swipes at each location are expected to be equivalent.
"We are doing everything we can to keep meal plan prices the same while adding quality and variety," McDonald said.
Construction for East began in February, and the servery is expected to open at the beginning of next semester. East is a combined kitchen and servery which is built adjacent to Lovett College and Will Rice College in the area of their current kitchens and loading docks.
The traffic at East will be carefully monitored throughout the spring semester to discern if any changes to the meal plans will need to be made in fall 2011.
Baker freshman Mary Morales said she believes the benefits of having only North and East open on Saturdays will outweigh the inconvenience.
"I think having only two serveries open will make things more crowded, but the food selection would be much better than at any of the individual college serveries open now," Morales said. "In my eyes, more food selection definitely outweighs the costs."
Duncan College freshman Philippe Dentino said he feels differently about the changes and is used to the convenience of having an attached servery open during the weekends.
"The food quality at the already existing serveries had better suffice," Dentino said. "Otherwise it's not about improving the quality of the food, it's just about a reallocation of resources.
More from The Rice Thresher
A new paid and audition-only student pep band will replace the Marching Owl Band at men’s and women’s basketball games and some volleyball matches, according to Rick Mello, Rice’s deputy athletics director. Mello said Rice athletics hopes to have a band of 30 students in place for the first basketball game in November.
Rice University experienced a series of thefts this past week. Six laptops and two iPads were stolen from a Duncan College suite and Duncan Hall respectively, according to the Rice University Police Department in a campus-wide email sent out last Wednesday morning.
As prices for various goods and services continue to rise nationally, student-run businesses and Rice departments such as Housing & Dining and Facilities Engineering & Planning are among those on campus implementing changes to handle this inflationary spike, while also working to keep prices reasonable for students.