Graduate students on meal plan will not have to share their dinner hour with undergraduates anymore. Graduate students lost their only grad-student-only dining commons when the Law School dormitory was demolished earlier this year. This year, graduate students said they had nowhere to eat without being bombarded by undergraduates. Second-year Fine Arts graduate student Heidi Tarshis said she has been eating dinner at Hill House and has had to deal with "freshmen throwing food." "For a grad student, you don't really want that while you're eating," Tarshis said. And Dining Services Director William Canney said he understands the need for graduate students to have their own dining facility. "It's much like you have the UA to represent the undergraduates and GAPSA to represent the graduate students," Canney said last week. "Likewise the graduate students would like their own area [to eat]." But Canney said the problem was not solved before the school year began because Dining Service lacks space this year due to the closing of the dining rooms in English House and the Law dorms. "I'm space-poor right now," he said. "I'm serving as many people this year in two less facilities." The English House dining room will reopen next fall, while the new Law School dining room will not open until 1993. The Mendelson Room seats 120 people and as many as 350 graduate students are eligible for dinner, Canney said. But Canney said that he is "looking at about 250 people" to eat at the T-House during the 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. dining hours. Some graduate students have cancelled their meal plans this year because of the lack of a dining facility, according to Tarshis, who spearheaded the drive for private dining space. While the problem may be solved for now, graduate students will again lack dining space next fall when the football team, which normally dines there, returns to the field. "Come the fall, I'm still in the same dilemma," Canney said. If the number of students who use the facility is low, there is a possibility that the program may not continue through next year, but Canney said he is "optimistic about the count." Yet many graduate students, and Canney himself, agree that the location may keep many students away. "I think it's a good idea, granted I would like it a little closer to Grad Towers," said third-year law student Eric Costello, who added that he would "try it on opening night." First-year Law student Valerie Kelly agreed that the location was one of the things that may keep her from dining at the facility. "To me, it seems a little remote," she said. "They do have to walk a couple of blocks to get to Training House," Canney said, but he added that he thinks it is worth it. The Mendelson Room will also continue the tradition of serving wine on Friday nights, which was started by the Law School dining room. Canney also said that Dining Services has found a way to solve the problem of long lines during the lunch hours at Hill House. A second cashier will be added during the peak times around noon to ease some of the traffic, Canney said. The extra line will be in place sometime this week, he said.Comments powered by Disqus
Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.