Since the closing of Maggie’s in the residential side of campus, students have been reliant on the Trail Room, Fields Dining Hall and the mini market in Fowler Center, as well as the Dovecote on the academic campus.
Part of what students loved about Maggie’s were its late hours and role as a small and calming study hub. Its current alternative, the Dovecote, closes at 2:30 p.m., depriving students of a place to work and get food in the afternoon and evening without going up the hill to the Bon.
During the day, students need a space on campus to snack or refuel with coffee, especially when they have long days of classes, meetings and studying with little time in between. When we put all our effort into working and studying, it is useful to have the convenience of having quick access to food when we need it.
Yes, you can walk back to Fowler Student Center to get a slice of pizza from the Troom, a plate of food from the Bon or even something from the little shop there (though they do not serve many snack-sized foods), but that takes a lot of time and energy when there is a cafe right there on the academic campus that fulfills the same function. Sometimes, people don’t have a half hour to wait in line and often the dining halls are closed at inconvenient times. Breakfast is only open before most of us are awake, lunch happens during our class times and dinner happens during events — there’s no winning!
During my freshman year, I had back-to-back classes from 9am until almost 3pm with no breaks, taking up almost the entire time that the Dovecote was open. I could have gotten there at 8am, but who wants to do that every day just to get your morning coffee or to pick up a snack for later? In addition, I completely missed the Bon’s lunch meal time, so by 3pm I hadn’t eaten at all.
At the time, I would have had to go all the way back to Maggie’s on the other side of campus to get a snack. The new grocery shop in Fowler is closer, but is also smaller and has odd, ironically inconvenient hours.
Nowadays, I have late afternoon and evening classes during normal meal times, which prevents me from going back to my dorm to cook or to Fowler Center to grab a meal.
The Dovecote closing in the middle of the day during academic hours is incredibly inconvenient for students who need to eat a good meal (that isn’t vending machine chips) or simply sit, relax, work and talk to friends and peers.
In addition, the longer hours would allow for more student employment, another issue that is being faced on campus. The cost of paying employees because of the change would be offset by the business, because of the demand to keep it open. Staying open for a few hours later, perhaps, for the people just coming out of classes at the end of their day or grabbing a quick meal before their night classes or before a rigorous study session in Watzek or even before they start their evening job would make all the difference for a large number of people.