By: Aleigha DiDonato
Staff Writer & Reporter
NEW KENSINGTON, Pa. — A major change in the hours of Café 780 at Penn State New Kensington (PSNK) brings rise to a petition from students.
It comes with no surprise that food is on the top of every college student’s list of priorities as classes began at PSNK. So you can imagine the concern when students found out the main Café 780 would be closing at 2PM Monday through Friday. Compared to previous semesters, this is a 5-hour cut back from the 7PM closing time students were used to.
Although the main café will be closed at 2PM, PSNK still offers limited food options for students on campus at the Junction. The Junction stays open until 6PM Monday through Friday, still leaving students with evening classes out of options for food on campus. In attempts to capture the voice of the PSNK community, one student decided to create a petition to extend the café hours.
Junior Communications and Journalism major, Brandon Burchette states, “The idea to create a petition came from Lauren Blum and SGA member Shannon Josefoski. After having a conversation with Lauren about it, she proposed that I start a petition seeing how I was upset about the change in hours.”
Roughly 150 students and faculty signed the petition to extend the hours at the café. This created enough buzz on campus that a meeting was held in attempts to come up with a solution to rectify the situation. Chancellor Kevin Snider and Jacob Bush were among some of the people involved in tackling the issues around the café hours.
“According to Jacob Bush and Dr. Snider, the cafeteria will be open until 5PM for at least a month. This was decided upon to see whether or not they would be able to reach the financial requirements that they need in order to sustain those hours. In a sense this is an adequate solution because it will give the student body the chance to show whether or not they truly do need extended café hours or not,” says Burchette.
Junior SGA President, Shannon Josefoski states, “I feel that the temporary hours we have come up with will benefit both the campus and the student body, and that is the goal of the SGA.” In regards to the current hours, Josefoski feels they are not beneficial for the majority of the student body.
For many students, including Burchette, PSNK serves as a commuter campus. While eating off campus still remains an option, the café made eating more convenient for students in between classes. However, there still remains a decent portion of the student body that lives in the apartments next to the PSNK campus. For students living in the apartments, the café serves as one of their main sources of food considering they don’t have transportation off campus.
Junior Corporate Communications major Christopher Lucidi states, “Although I do not live in the apartments, I can only imagine the frustration some students might face. This semester I have large breaks in my schedule, so I spend most of my time here on campus. I have ran into the issue a few times where I wanted to grab a salad at the café and it was already closed for the day.”
As far as when the implementations for extending the hours will take place, there still seemed to be no clear answer behind this question. Suggestions to hang posters around the Junction and main entrance to alert students when the change will take place were among some of Burchette’s suggestions.
“It would be great if they sent out an email to students allowing them to be sufficiently notified of when these changes will take place,” says Lucidi. While these are just a few of the recommendations made by students, no action has been made to notify students of any changes as of Monday September 19, 2016.
For now, students will be utilizing the food choices the Junction has to offer if they wish to eat on campus after 2PM. While some students feel this is a very limited option, it remains the only one they will have until further notice on when the extended hours will take place.
*Editor’s Note: First off, this article is from our September 2016 edition of The Nittany Pride. My apologies for not publishing this story online sooner.
Secondly, as of September 26, 2016, the Café hours have been re-extended to 5:30 P.M., Mondays through Thursdays. However, the Café will still close at 2:00 P.M. on Fridays.