Late-night diners enjoy new Grab-n-Go menu

Patrick Dunn

With a new program introduced by Dining Services and the Student Government Association, students can now stop by the Connelly Center for a late-night snack. The Late Night Grab-n-Go program allows students to use their meal plans in the Belle Air Terrace between the hours of 10 and 11 p.m., Sunday through Thursday.

According to SGA President Nestor Fernandez, the idea for an after-hours meal plan option in the Connelly Center came from student suggestions. The SGA raised the issue on behalf of the student body. “[The SGA] is there for the students,” Fernandez said. “We are the mediators between them and the administration.”

The Grab-n-Go program is the latest of many efforts to establish a more practical and student-friendly dining atmosphere on campus. These efforts include the recent expansion of Meal Plan Express coverage to include both the CEER and Bartley Holy Grounds, and the e-mail publication of a Dining Services newsletter.

Sophomore Jon Ambrose, head of the Campus Improvements Committee, led the way from the SGA side, establishing contact with Dining Services administrators.

“SGA was invited by Dining Services to attend a managers’ meeting to discuss these issues,” said Andrea Sammut, director of public relations for SGA.

The Dining Services administrators quickly agreed that the suggestions proposed by the SGA were good ones, as they allow an increase in profits for Dining Services without increasing the cost of meal plans to students.

Currently, the Grab-n-Go program is operated out of the Holy Grounds in the Connelly Center. Students can call 9-5120 to place an order or place one in person at the Holy Grounds counter.

The menu includes hot items such as chicken fingers, buffalo wings, burgers, steaks and fries, as well as cold items including wraps, sandwiches and salads.

Since the program is still young, some minor glitches remain to be worked out. The Holy Grounds staff must distinguish between their own food and Grab-n-Go food in order to ring them up separately.

It is still unclear if it is possible to combine Holy Grounds and Grab-n-Go food into one meal, or if separate meals must be used.

The true proof of success, however, will be the participation of students. Marcus Williams, a manager at the Belle Air Terrace, says he is working to get more students to come out.

“We’ll do anything to accommodate the students,” Williams said. “We may get more flexible [regarding hours], depending on demand.”

Early signs are positive, as Williams said that on the first night of Grab-n-Go several students took the opportunity to thank him for staying open late.