It's 7:30 a.m. on a Saturday. You have just woken up for a grueling day of studying, but first, you think it would be a great idea to get breakfast. Finding your refrigerator and freezer as empty as they were last night, you head over to Starbucks, only to find that it doesn't open until 11 a.m.
Hmmm, why not head over to the Lair? Oh, right, no chance of that either, as it does not open until 8:30 a.m.
I really appreciate the fact that LMU offers its students with many dining options, and that some establishments, such as The Habit, stay open as late as 2:30 a.m. However, the reality is that, although there is a relatively short window of time in which nothing is open, this is still a very common complaint among students.
I, too, have experienced this when trying to decide where to eat with friends in the early morning, and feel that it can be particularly problematic when we need to get on with our subsequent weekend activities.
"I feel like they assume everyone sleeps in until noon or something, and that's not true," said Ashley Rietmann, a sophomore biology major. "I try to go to Starbucks [in the morning but] I always forget it doesn't open until 11 a.m. on weekend days, which seems so late."
When asked if she felt Starbucks could be opened earlier on weekends, Terry Buttler, a Starbucks employee, agreed that it should: "I feel like it would be a good opportunity for Starbucks to stay open for students living on campus and visitors who come to look at the campus."
It is fair to say that students can look at the dining.lmu.edu web page before deciding where to eat for the weekend but I believe, as Rietmann pointed out, that most students will not think to do so — I know that I certainly don't until I arrive at the closed establishment.
Typically my first reaction before checking the site is to see if there are any workers lurking around so that I can ask them when the establishment in question is due to re-open, but in most cases, there are none in the area.
I also believe that the dining web page should be clearer about the weekend hours for the Lair Marketplace. For most establishments, such as The Habit and the combined Pizza Hut/1788 Sandwich Bar, the hours are much more defined, but the site fails to mention the fact that on Saturday afternoons there is an interval between lunch and dinner during which the Lair is closed for several hours.
Finding meals is even more difficult during the short breaks when the school is still open to residents unable to go home. On March 9, the Saturday before the beginning of Spring Break, the Lair was only open from 2:30 to 7 p.m., and The Habit from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Throughout the week, the Lair was completely closed, while Starbucks, Einstein and Caribou Cafe and The Habit had rather sporadic hours.
"I was affected by the break hours since it made it harder for me to get food later in the night," said Patrick Utz, a junior electrical engineering major who is also an RA. Utz, like many other residential advisors, was required to stay at LMU over Easter Break so that he could remain on duty to make himself available for the remaining residents of his hall. Students need to be able to study as late as they need to, without having to stress about meals.
I firmly believe that if Sodexo were to make sure that at least one establishment were open at any given time during the 24-hour period, students would be much happier and less anxious about where their next meal is going to come from.
This the opinion of Vejas Vasiiliauskas, a junior English major from Manhattan Beach, California. Tweet comments @LALoyolan, or email email@example.com.