After multiple operating schedule changes last year, the Stag, Einstein’s Bagels, and even the Main Dining Room have finally attained new hours at the students’ discretion.

Starting this semester, the Barone Main Dining Room will be open until 8 p.m., with a continental breakfast starting at 8 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

The hours of the Stag Snack Bar and Einstein’s have also changed. Einstein’s will now be open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., while the Stag hours run between 11 a.m. and 10 p.m. every day, except on Thursday when it will remain open until midnight.

As a result of the new hours, students will be able to eat a substantial breakfast on the weekends, grab a coffee before their 8:00 a.m. class at Einstein’s, and have a hot dinner until 8:00 p.m. in Barone.

Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs James Fitzpatrick was instrumental in bringing about the extended hours. He made the changes in response to many complaints about the hours of the dining facilities, saying that “the request didn’t seem impractical.”

Junior Samuel Maxfield is the FUSA Chair of Senate who helped direct the organization’s accumulation of student input. Although the new dining hours became official over the Winter Recess, the push for extended hours in Barone had been a wish of the student body for years. However, as Maxfield explained, it takes consistency to put changes in motion with the administration: “With Mr. Fitzpatrick you have to be consistent … another thing that he likes to say is ‘prove it.’”

There was not a formal strategy to garner support for the schedule change. Instead, Maxfield said he just wanted the senators to reach out to students before class or at parties. “I always tell the senate to get a grip on complaints,” he said.

While freshmen and sophomores who are required to have meal plans are excited to have the hours extended, upperclassmen regret that these changes were not made long ago.

“It’s great they finally extended the hours, but I could have used that two years ago,” says Abby Romano ’14.

In a Mirror article from Spring 2012, Fitzpatrick was quoted saying, “the only people that have complained in the past are the cross country and baseball teams.” The hours weren’t changed because there was never a great enough demand for them to be extended.

In the same article, 30 students were asked questions about their thoughts on dining hours.
Eighty percent of the students surveyed said that they were not satisfied with the dining options at Fairfield University.

Ninety-three percent of students said they would take advantage of the dining hall if it were open later than 7:30 p.m.

Fifty-nine percent said that they would take advantage of using the dining hall before the normal opening time of 10:00 a.m. on weekends.

Through this survey, Fairfield University students voiced their need for extended dining hours. With the recent changes, their needs will be met.

While Fitzpatrick believes it’s too early to tell if the extended hours will be successful interms of student usage, students are already supporting the new changes.

“I couldn’t be happier because most days I have to work all day and I would have to spend all my money at the Stag, but now I’ll have time to go to Barone,” says Brian Gilligan ’14.

FUSA President Robert Vogel ‘13 called the dining schedule change a great success after “years of conversations”- the fruits of which could be short-lived. If the extended hours do not see popular patronage, the hours will very likely be changed back.

Vogel said: “It’s literally a dollars and cents game which is entirely understandable and, if the demand isn’t there, we’ll know within a couple weeks …”

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