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Davenport deals with space issues

Alyssa Cole

Staff Writer

To help accommodate its largest student body in University of La Verne history, Davenport Dining Hall has expanded serving hours and opened West Dining Room to regular student dining.

La Verne residence halls were ready to welcome the 568 students living on campus this fall term, including 50 students in the Sheraton Hotel. Unfortunately, Davenport was not as prepared.

Davenport Dining Hall seats 169 people. If every student came to the dining hall at the same time, it would leave 399 of them without a place to sit.

“As we go further into the school year, a learning curve will help with crowds,” Dean of Student Affairs Loretta Rahmani said.

Thankfully, this issue was brought to the attention of the University ahead of time and Rahmani, among others, came up with new ideas to ensure that students would be able to enjoy their meals comfortably.

The West Dining Room, President’s Dining Room and President’s Dining Room Foyer were all analyzed for usage.

Since they are all connected to Davenport, they were all found to be the most obvious and obliging choices to add more space.

The only problem with these rooms is that they are often used for meetings, many of which have been scheduled months in advance.

After the University capital planning committee reviewed the data, the West Dining Room was approved for use as additional dining space and was opened to students in August.

However some students are not taking notice of the newly available seating areas.

“It doesn’t seem like people are sitting in there, it’s not an obvious space,” junior Stephanie Hernandez said.

The West Dining Room now allows around 40 additional spots for students.

In addition to the extra space, there are now longer dining hours than were offered in previous years.

The University calls its new concept “continuous dining,” in which Davenport is now open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

“In addition of West Dining Hall, continuous dining has made a positive impact during Davenports busy hours,” Rahmani said.

The current schedule is as follows: breakfast from 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., continental breakfast from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., lunch from 11a.m. to 1 p.m., grill, salad and deli bar 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and after-hours grill from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

This means that students are no longer restricted to eating during small periods of the day, which allows less of a rush to eat since students know they will not have to miss a meal.

This concept helps in creating less congestion in Davenport and allows students more flexibility with their dining options.

However, some students are not pleased with the menu choices available to them during those in-between slots.

“If you don’t go during the main hours there is limited food,” junior Vincent Gonzales said.

Students are complaining about the lack of selection and no salad bar or pizza, saying the only food consistently available is fruit and cereal.

“It’s kind of pointless, it’s very limited,” junior Andrea Arceo said.

The West Dining Room and the new continuous dining concept are both still very new, and if the University starts to see serious complication they have already gathered strategies to tackle them.

But for now students are encouraged to use Davenport’s extra space and meal times, as the University is doing their best with the impact of incoming and returning students this year.

Alyssa Cole can be reached at alyssa.cole@laverne.edu.

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