Jester City Limits dining hall will close Oct. 5 due to a low customer turnout this semester, said Rene Rodriguez, director of dining for University Housing and Dining.
UHD closed JCL after it averaged 200 students per day, while J2 averaged 1,000, Rodriguez said.
“We always track customer counts and the utilization of each location,” Rodriguez said. “We saw in the numbers that JCL is underutilized.”
Rodriguez said staff from JCL will transfer to Jester 2nd Floor Dining, which will remain open. Dining halls have required more serving staff this semester after the elimination of self-serve areas, he said.
“During COVID time(s), we've had to reassess how we do everything,” Rodriguez said. “We have no self-serve areas in the dining halls for our students' safety and for our employees’ safety.”
Rodriguez said UHD reviewed student feedback from the University Residence Hall Association before deciding to close JCL, and it showed a higher interest in all-day breakfast. Rodriguez said this would not be sustainable this year if two dining locations remained open in Jester.
“Because we were operating two different locations, we weren't operating breakfast all day long,” Rodriguez said. “We've now taken J2, and we are offering breakfast items all day long.”
Rodriguez said they also hope to expand J2’s options going forward by reopening the work area in J2 and offering more types of pizza to add variety.
Political communications freshman Alana Park said she worries closing one dining hall might lead to longer wait times at the others.
“J2 takes longer to get to and go through,” Park said. “I’m expecting it will just overall make getting food take a bit longer.”
Angela Sommers, a theatre and dance freshman, said she frequented JCL until they limited their selection earlier this semester and now goes mostly to J2.
“I went to JCL more than J2 before it only served dinner. Then J2 was the place to go for more of a variety of food,” Sommers said. “Since then, I go to J2 three times a week and never returned to JCL.”
Sommers said the current lack of options at Jester dining halls in comparison to previous years is unfair to students paying the same housing and dining rate as previous years.
“With paying full price for dining, I feel that we are being taken advantage of with the COVID situation,” Sommers said.