NJIT is known to be a commuter school; however, with about 20% residents, many end up living on campus during long breaks such as the one in winter. As such, some students have spoken up about not having enough dining options on campus.
Resident District Manager at NJIT’s Gourmet Dining Services David Arluna and Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Dr. Marybeth Boger spoke about the services offered on campus currently. Boger clarified that there will be dining options offered over the winter; while the all-you-can-eat section will be closed after the last day of finals, select retail stores open on Jan. 2 or 3 onwards for students to buy meals or food pre-made.
“We have opened in the past, and the amount of business we do is very minimal — about 10 to 15 transactions a day. Our biggest issue now is staffing. Unfortunately, we just can’t hire enough people,” Arluna said. “Opening just to say we’re open… It would be better if we’re opening for a need, where we know that the students would actually utilize the service.”
All food services on campus will be closed Dec. 24 to Jan. 1; Arluna and Boger have not commented on that matter. They were provided information about other college campuses that either had at least one food service available during that same time frame or that had fewer days with no services available to students.
Montclair State University, for example, has Bistro 62 as the only campus dining destination open for six hours every day from Dec. 22 to at least Jan. 14. Arluna responded, “I have reached out to them, and they have that open to facilitate any faculty or staff they have on campus. The students can use those services, but it is not included with the dining hall.”
In response to the issue of staffing, another option presented to Arluna and Boger was partnering with local retail or restaurant businesses, so that students can use the campus currency to purchase meals. They have not commented on this matter.
Ultimately, Boger mentioned that they want to make sure students’ needs are fulfilled. Students are encouraged to reach out with any questions and concerns regarding dining on campus during breaks.