Who Cares for the Students During Holiday Times

Nicholas Spencer
The Paw Print

Before Thanksgiving break, I heard the cafeteria was closing for Thanksgiving. How strange I thought. What about the students who live in the dorms and can’t cook a decent meal in their room? I was further informed the cafe is usually open during Thanksgiving break.

With this small bit of information, tons of questions popped into my head. Why is this so? What about the students who can’t get home for whatever reason? What about the student athletes? Is there any event in place for the students who can’t get home for the holiday?

Long story short, you shouldn’t believe everything you hear. The information I had received about the cafeteria being open during break wasn’t correct. As far back as the late 80’s, a couple people on staff remember the cafeteria being closed. Thanksgiving is a break where the cafeteria isn’t open.

I spoke with the temporary general manager of the Cafeteria, who has been on staff since Sept. 17. Although he hasn’t been with ASU very long, he shared some important information.

For instance, Dietz tells me it isn’t unusual for colleges or universities to close for Thanksgiving. During his career he has served at a number of higher education institutions that closing for Thanksgiving break. After having such a pleasant conversation with Dietz, I walked over to Student Life to speak Stephanie Lewis, assistant director of auxiliary services/SUB.

She confirmed what Dietz shared with me saying that the cafeteria is traditionally closed during this break. She also told me that during fall and spring break the cafe is striving to stay open.

During fall break, the café has stayed open on and off over the last couple of years. But during spring break, the café is harder to keep open. With students’ welfare in mind, people like Lewis strive to keep the café open when possible.

I hope, for students who can’t make it home or somewhere to eat during fall and spring breaks, the café will be there with open doors. The last stop on my trip was the Housing Office. Bruce Del Tondo was more than polite and willing to share information. Standing in his office, late for a meeting, he shared a lot of information. There haven’t been any complaints about the café being closed from Nov. 21 to Nov. 23.

Students involved in sports programs who are required to stay at the school during Thanksgiving break, such as women and men’s basketball and wrestling, are supported by their coaches. The coaches are required to provide food for their athletes.

For non-athletes in the dorms, there is an event provided by the Housing Office that supplies food for students. Close to 20 students attended this year.

The major driver for the café being closed is because the cost for food would have to be increased for all students to meet the cost of labor during the breaks. It isn’t fair for an estimated 600 students to pay for 20 students who are still in the dorms during Thanksgiving break. Unless the entire student body wants to pay, it isn’t likely to change anytime soon.

A kitchen is set up in Girault Hall for such occasions when the café isn’t open and students must fend for themselves.

If living in the dorms with nowhere to go for the break. Just think ahead and try to plan something out.

If plans don’t work out, speak with Del Tondo or Lewis, and I assure you these outstanding ASU staff members will take care of you… Not because it’s there job either.


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