On the first day of school, campus residents came to the University Center to find the Galley closed for dinnertime. Said sophomore Emily Sammartino, “I don’t think it’s fair to the students who live on campus who rely on the Galley for all their meals … Don’t close the Galley! Don’t close the only option for food!”
At 1:06 p.m. on that day, Student Affairs sent out an email telling student about the basketball game that night. “Cheer on your Privateers TONIGHT while enjoying free food from Moe’s. No meal plan required just bring your UNO student ID. The galley will not open for dinner so that you can enjoy the game and free food!” said the email. Meanwhile, the @UofNO Twitter account and the @uno_eats Instagram page did not post about these changes.
“I just think it’s annoying. I think it’s rude and inconvenient,” Sammartino said.
Regular shuttles were available to students throughout the evening to help students get between campus and the Lakefront Arena, and free food from Moe’s was offered to encourage all UNO students to attend. However, some students weren’t interested in attending the game. Those with meal plans who remained on campus spent their declining balances at the on-campus Chick-fil-A, which provides six different menu options: fried chicken nuggets, fried chicken sandwiches, French fries, pre-made salads, chicken wraps and cookies. Because traffic for the Galley was redirected to Chick-fil-A, the line was backed up with a minimum wait of 20 minutes.
Said one student in the line, Megan Miller, “I’m not interested in going to the game just to eat. I understand that they want students to go to the game … but getting them to go by taking away their meal plan like that … is unfair. It doesn’t sound like it was planned that well.”
As it turns out, the decisions behind these efforts by Privateers Athletics and Dining Services were “made as part of a committee led by Student Affairs,” according to food service director Daniel Mezzanares.
Students were being encouraged to go the basketball game with offers of free food.
Said Interim Athletics Director Vincent Granito, “…it was promoted that food service would be provided for all students attending the basketball game on January 16, not just plan holders … we believe this benefitted the larger student community. Meal plan holders were able to use their meal plans that evening at Chick-Fil- A and the Cove.”
According to Granito, It was intended “to provide the “main meal” that night at Lakefront Arena while other dining options for those not wanting to attend were still available.” This happened during the “Loak the Lakefront” event on Nov. 28 of last semester.
“Consistent with some other University events, these events occasionally happen on campus when the service of large numbers of students are anticipated,” said Granito.
“Please understand that the student’s needs were considered, and consistent with past practices. We all certainly apologize for any inconvenience caused.”