Campus Dining & Shops limits Ellicott Food Court meal credits on weekends

Students concerned with changes, despite increased options and hours at UB dining halls

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If you want to use a meal credit at Sizzles on Saturday, you’ll have to wait until 9 p.m.

Campus Dining & Shops changed its weekend dining options at the beginning of the fall semester. Ellicott Food Court restaurants, like Sizzles and Hubie’s, will accept meal credits on the weekends only during late night hours.

CDS increased hours for dining centers, too, with Crossroads Culinary Center (C3) now open from 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on weekends. Goodyear Hall and Governors Complex dining centers also have new brunch hours, closing at 2:00 p.m. instead of last academic year’s 1:30 p.m. closing time. All three UB dining centers will feature new brunch menus, according to Raymond Kohl, CDS marketing manager, including an “expanded variety” of egg and omelet dishes, avocado toast, carved London broil and brisket, and more.

Kohl said the decision to change weekend meal credits comes in part from the “greater focus on brunch and continuous dining at C3” as well as “limited resources in terms of staffing.” Kohl said “guests will be able to enjoy a greater variety without the long wait that customers experienced in the past at Ellicott Food Court.”
He said CDS’ culinary team worked over the summer to create “new and exciting” menu items that were showcased and surveyed by staff and students.

“In talking with students last year, we found out that students were looking for elevated brunch items and more variety,” Kohl said.

He said many of the menu items students ordered from the Ellicott Food Court last year can now be found at C3, Goodyear and Governors as part of the brunch menu.

Kohl said CDS has received several positive comments on the changes in the brunch menu, although the fall semester has just started. He said they will “continue to talk to our guests and make changes where we can to make it a great dining experience.”

Students in the Ellicott Complex on Saturday, such as Jahurul Sakib, said they are concerned with the changes. Sakib, a sophomore mechanical engineering major, said he ate at C3 “a lot of times” last year and “got sick of it.”

“At the end of the day, it’s a business, so I get where they’re coming from,” Sakib said. “Still, C3 doesn’t let you take food out with containers, and a lot of kids I think would want to have that food to go.”

Sakib said he uses Campus Cash this semester but used the “Any 19 Plan” last year. He said although he doesn’t use the meal plan now, he thinks the changes place a limit on other students during the weekends.

“As a freshman, I remember that so many meals went down the drain,” Sakib said. “UB doesn’t do a good enough job, too, at letting freshman know how they can use their meals. If CDS is limiting us to use our meal plans, then I think it’s especially important for new students to know how to wisely use them when these changes happen.”

Abubakry Tunkara, a junior public health major, was “surprised” to find out about the changes.

“It’s inconsiderate to students like myself and the whole UB community. I’m speaking for everyone here that we have to use Dining Dollars when we simply can use our meals in [Ellicott Complex],” Tunkara said.

“C3 doesn’t have the best of food and especially on the weekends, it’s not a convenient move for everybody. Even though we get to use meal credits at other places like the Student Union, or C3, but you’re going to get tired of eating the same thing from 9 a.m. until close.”

Tunkara said CDS should host an on-campus event where students can “speak out” toward new dining changes like this one.

“I pay $2,890 for the block 260 plan. That’s very expensive. With that, tuition, and room and board, it’s a lot,” Tunkara said. “We go through a lot as students, so I feel like meal credits should be available to us at these dinner hours, especially on the weekends.”

Benjamin Blanchet is the senior features editor and can be reached at benjamin.blanchet@ubspectrum.com and @BenjaminUBSpec.