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The Dartmouth
June 20, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

SA to keep Novack open 24-hours

Temporarily shifting its emphasis toward services, the Student Assembly took several steps last night to improve Dartmouth Dining Services -- with members pledging to keep Novack Caf open from midnight through 2:00 a.m. and putting pressure on DDS to reinstate an all-you-can-eat food option.

More than 20 members agreed last night to each work two hours a week at Novack Caf so that the new Berry facility will be able to stay open beyond its current closing time of 12 a.m. Due to the current College worker shortage, Novack Caf hasn't been able to meet its original goal of providing a 24-hour food venue to students.

In addition, Assembly members all signed postcards requesting that DDS reopen Westside Buffet for four nights a week. The postcards will be more widely distributed to the student body in the coming weeks, and will eventually be given to Director of DDS Tucker Rossiter.

The idea to reinstate an all-you-can-eat food option came from the men's crew team and other athletes who were disappointed with the College's decision to close Westside last spring when that facility became unprofitable.

"Athletes were very concerned about how we're going to pay for so much food, so our team wanted to do something about it," said Matt Tso '00, who rows for the men's crew team and is also an Assembly member.

He said that he decided to distribute the postcards to "pressure DDS and people in the administration since DDS is falling short of students' needs."

According to Tso and others that have held discussions with Rossiter about the future of Westside, the College seems willing to reopen the facility on a limited basis.

Rossiter has also expressed an interest in keeping Novack Caf open past midnight provided that the Assembly find workers to fill the new shift, Assembly President Jorge Miranda '01 told The Dartmouth.

Miranda said he identified a need for expanded hours during one of the few times he made it to Berry to study, and saw how crowded the caf area becomes late at night.

"We're providing a service to students as well as a time for people to talk to Student Assembly members," he said.

Miranda added that the Novack Caf initiative marked a new approach to the way the Assembly seeks expanded student services. "Rather than the Student Assembly saying 'we want this, we want that,' we're willing to commit as well," he said.

The Assembly members turned part-time DDS workers will begin at Novack Caf either at the end of this term or at the beginning of Winter term.

The Assembly is also tentatively working on adding a delivery service to one of the DDS venues; changing the meal plan so that students don't lose money if they choose a small plan; adding a 24-hour facility; and allowing DBA access at Byrne Hall in the Thayer School of Engineering.

The success of those plans, however, may depend on the ability of DDS to find more workers and the ability to demonstrate student interest in change.