New Village hours are mmm-mmm good

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Wash. U.’s Dining Services has managed to come up with some positive news for the new semester: better hours at the Village. The stir-fry station’s hours have been extended from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday through Thursday, and the Village Grill is open until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday evenings. With the later closing times comes a larger variety of items; students, for example, can now purchase breakfast items late at night at the Village. On the South 40, new menu items such as spring rolls and an improved turkey burger are now available, and calzones have debuted at the DUC.

Our pens and stomachs have nothing but praise for this good news. The announcement means flaming stir-fried vegetables, rice and meat for a late dinner. It means a Philly cheesesteak sandwich and tater tots between parties on Frat Row. And it’s worth noting that the later hours help narrow the clear divide between food service for underclassmen on the South 40 and service for upperclassmen on the North Side. We want to commend Bon Appétit and Student Union—particularly Greg Schweizer, the former chair of the Senate Campus Services committee, who led the drive for extended hours—for listening to students. We asked for better hours, and they have accommodated.

We realize the new hours aren’t wholly beneficial. Students can no longer grab dinner at Trattoria Verde or DeliciOSO at the DUC after 8 p.m. on Friday, though they were previously open until 8:30. More importantly, the Village chefs and other employees must work later hours. We ask that Wash. U. students keep in mind what these workers are giving up to keep the place open.

The fact that Bon Appétit is willing to make these changes shows its willingness to listen. The company-wide tomato controversy not withstanding, Nadeem Siddiqui, Paul Schimmele and the entire Bon Appétit management team have consistently demonstrated attention to students’ wishes. Following a forum held last semester, in which students voiced their opinions directly to Dining Services officials, Bon Appétit enacted a gratifying number of changes. When the eateries on the South 40 didn’t live up to students’ expectations, Bon Appétit stepped in with old favorites and a faster ordering system. When undergraduates decided Companion bagels were inferior to ones from Einstein Bros., Bon Appétit reintroduced the latter at Whispers Café.

True, these reforms took a lot of time to implement, and the new Village hours are simply a pilot program. Nevertheless, they have happened, and for that, Bon Appétit—especially its employees who have committed to serving students’ needs—deserves the student body’s gratitude.