University Student Center - view from Harborwalk

Times Are Changing

The University Student Center (USC) officially started operations on August 22, 2012 with move-in for residents and the school’s cafeteria, The Reef, opening for business. The entire culture of the campus changed in an instant. I sat in the lobby amazed at how different things were. However, there was one problem; you could only be in the USC for a small window of time. The USC’s hours started Monday-Friday 7:30am- 9pm; yes that says 9pm. So what can be done? On most campuses you would just have to chalk it up as a loss. Not so at USFSP.

But before you hear the news I think it’s important you understand why I think the administration even considered a change.

It may sound like 14 and a half hours is a long time for something to be open but we all know that college doesn’t operate on those terms. The USC opened with very conservative hours. The opening time was great. However, closing at 9pm just didn’t cut it. I’m a commuter and although I only live five driving minutes away I can only imagine people who live 15 minutes away or more from campus.

There was a sense that everything was changing but nothing really was changing.  Imagine getting out of your night class and not being able to eat on your own campus because it’s closed? In the past few weeks, this has happened to many people. Here’s an example: My friends and I always end up going to Applebee’s nearby although we all agree that it’s not our favorite restaurant. They are open past midnight every day. Chili’s on the other hand closes at 10 and 11pm so we never get a chance to go there even though it costs more money and we like it more. The Reef’s situation is similar. People who aren’t on meal plans don’t end up eating there often because even if they wanted to they couldn’t; it was closed.


In steps a new challenger! Late Night Bites!

‘Late Night Bites’ can be likened to Taco Bell’s “Fourth Meal”. That is, the meal after dinner. Monday September 17 starts the new hours for the USC. It will be open until 11pm seven days a week. Late Night Bites is not the same as dinner, it is a  slightly smaller menu and starts at 8:30 pm. This comes as a relief to student organizations, commuters, residents and more. The issue with the previous time was not exclusive to whether or not someone wanted to eat. It also dealt with events held in the center. The new time gives students a chance to have some fun while preserving the sanity of administration. The extended hours are on a tentative trial basis roughly slated for 30 days according to Matt Morrin, director of student life. I really appreciate the administration for listening to the concerns of the students on this issue and moving swiftly.

This is Anthony,

Signing off…