Late night options fall short on campus

All of the camous dining areas are closed by midnight, making late night dining difficult

Dylan Graham

All of the camous dining areas are closed by midnight, making late night dining difficult

Whether it be for work or play, college students take the idea of ‘burning the midnight oil’ to heart. And with late nights come late meals, but students looking for a bite to eat after midnight on Grand Valley State University’s campus will find they have more limited options than they did at the start of the year.

Earlier this semester, Campus Dining scaled back the Late Night hours at Kleiner by half, cutting off food service at midnight. Late Night, which begins at 10 p.m., previously lasted until 2 a.m. Late night options in The Connection, which serves wraps and sandwiches from 8 p.m. until midnight, were also cut back in the fall. And River Landing, which previously shut down at 11 p.m. on weekdays, now closes shop at 8 p.m.

Deb Rambadt, marketing manager for Campus Dining, said the shorter hours were in response to student demand. Dining locations on campus are equipped with counters that record the number of people coming and going, and Rambadt said these counters have shown a significant decrease in the number of guests who eat late at night.

“This academic year, there was a drop of 358 meal plans on north campus,” said Chuck Brown, GVSU Campus Dining operations manager. “That decrease impacts Late Night at Kleiner but also has a domino effect on other campus dining venues. We have to balance offerings campus-wide, even when the immediate impact is centralized.”

However, the move has left many of the 3,498 students who purchased meal plans feeling like their needs are not being met.

“I think that we should offer at least one all night place because I at least do a lot of my work at night and it gets very, very tiresome when I have to plan my meals so strictly,” said Akshay Sarathi, a GVSU junior. “I have to build my entire day around my meals and make sure that I have enough calories that I can make it until the morning.”

Sarathi, who lives in the Niemeyer Living Center, purchased a meal plan for its convenience but found that the dining facilities’ hours do not suit his schedule. The history major often finds himself staying up until 3 a.m. or later to complete his studies.

“(Campus Dining) should just understand that we keep really odd hours and our classes aren’t all at the same time,” he said. “If you take a 6 to 9 p.m. class, then you have to eat before 6 p.m., because every place stops serving the really good entrees by 8 p.m. They should really make more accommodations for people who want to eat more than a sandwich and a piece of fruit after 8 p.m.”

Some students also complain about the lack of health-conscious choices on Late Night menus. Some of Kleiner’s Late Night mainstay menu options include ultimate nachos, cheesy bacon fries, chicken wings and mozzarella sticks.

“Most of the options listed are high in fat and low in nutrient density,” said Lori Schermers, consulting dietitian at GVSU’s recreation and wellness department. “High fat meals can interfere with good sleep. Students are more likely to feel refreshed if they chose a lower-fat snack.”

Rambadt said the majority of late night guests desire the higher-calorie options and when more health-conscious items were offered, very few were sold.

“Guests vote with their dollars,” she said. “‘Healthy’ is often a personal perception and one that is difficult to gauge for the masses. Campus Dining is happy to make changes that students will positively receive. If support for the change is evident, the change will be retained.”

More information about Campus Dining’s hours and menu options is available at

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