Illustration by Joaquin Kunkel
Since the start of the semester, there have been many dining-related developments, including an announcement that the Convenience Store will be relocated and expanded as well as alleged reports of an increase in dining hall theft.
The Campus Center Convenience Store, located on the first floor of the building, is expected to be moved to the space between Magrudy’s Bookstore and Blacksmith Coffee Company at the entrance to campus. Information from ADNH Compass concerning this development has been limited. Nevertheless, Yumi Gambrill, Class of 2018 and Chair of the Dining Hall Committee, commented that the move is scheduled to take place toward the end of October. However, there is significant uncertainty concerning whether this will actually be the case, since a statement from Kate Chandler, Director of Public Affairs and Communication, suggested that the project completion deadline may have been pushed back and other relevant officials expressed skepticism of the timeline to The Gazelle.
Gambrill explained that the Convenience Store move is an initiative which ADNH has had on the table for a long time. She explained that the new store would essentially be more like a Baqala store, since there is nothing similar near campus.
She elaborated that the community can look forward to a much wider range of items, including a variety of frozen and fresh fruit and vegetables, frozen prepared foods, grab-and-go options, a wider variety of toiletries, fresh meat and a bakery. Gambrill is willing to present student suggestions for additional items to ADNH. Generally, the new space will have healthier options to choose from than other food venues on campus.
Students inquired on social media about whether the new store will contain a non-Muslim section. Gambrill stated that the new Convenience Store is unlikely to contain a non-Muslim section due to the fact that ADNH is run by the government and has a limited and set number of suppliers that generally do not carry these items.
Students also raised concerns about whether the new location of the Convenience Store at the front of campus meant that Campus Dirhams would no longer be accepted. However, Gambrill also assured the student body that the new Convenience Store will accept Campus Dirhams.
As of now, it is unclear how the current Convenience Store space will be utilized, but the Dining Hall Committee is open to suggestions from the student body.
There have been reports suggesting an increase in instances of Dining Hall theft among students. Whether this is in fact true is ambiguous. Robert Titus, Associate Director of Public Safety, made a distinction between theft and misconduct.
“With first-year students who are not quite familiar with how the system works, there is an element of confusion — I call this a misconduct or misunderstanding in their first couple of weeks and not actual theft,” said Titus. However, he said that violations by upperclassmen are considered theft.
Titus highlighted some other forms of theft that have been reported. Students who purchase a meal from the Meal Club, from which refills are allowed, sometimes grab refills from counters other than the Meal Club, which is not allowed. Titus elaborated on other tactics used by students.
“Students pay for their meal plan, they enjoy their meal, they take their receipt and share that with another student, so they go get a meal … And then what was happening as well was that you had your receipt and went to late lunch, or whatever the case may be, some students would attempt to come back with that receipt during the dinner hours, and just expressed they have continued eating and they’re going back for a refill,” said Titus.
Although Gambrill is not sure if there was an actual increase in theft, she is aware of typical violations. She explained that students sometimes remove items such as mugs, cutlery and plates from the Dining Hall which they never bring back. Titus elaborated on this and stated that last year, dining hall cutlery and plates were found donated in the Second Hand Store.
Gambrill also elaborated upon instances in which students walk through the middle of the Dining Hall passageway without paying for their food. Both Gambrill and Titus agreed that theft often occurs because the dining hall layout is such that it is easy for students to leave unnoticed. According to both, ADNH is considering redesigning and restructuring the dining hall, in the hopes of both making the payment process more efficient and preventing theft.
Another preventive measure against theft that ADNH is considering is setting a time limit of thirty minutes to the receipts so that the refill option can only be used in a single sitting.
Dania Paul is Deputy News Editor. Email her at [email protected]