Main should be open later

For years now, administrators have pushed the idea of a more residential campus, and the Board of Trustees approved a two-year residency requirement last spring. With the opening of Carter and Samuelson halls, the vision has started to materialize.So with two more residences and about 700 more students around, one might think TCU would offer more food options and keep the dining spots open longer.

But instead, the university has sent Ultimate Baja to the showers. The stand in the back of Frog Bytes was a student favorite, not only because of its burritos, but also for its late operating hours. Most often I took advantage of this Tex-Mex circa 10 p.m. after The Main had closed its doors, and I wasn’t the only one.

“I was a big fan of Ultimate Baja,” said Nick LoPresti, a senior philosophy major. “I play rugby, and after practice I’d go. It’s sad not having it.”

Students aren’t big fans of its supposed replacement, The Shift Zone, now in La Vincinta’s old haunt either. The idea might seem like a college-friendly concept, but Caitlin Daetwyler said she doesn’t favor its fruit and dessert bars and would rather have a more substantial option.

“It’s never real food where the Shift bar is; it’s always just fruit,” said Daetwyler, a sophomore modern dance major. “They need actual, real food over there.”

For the 2007-2008 academic year, TCU raised the minimum amount required for the all-important swipe card. Those figures are a minimum of $1,400 per semester for freshmen, $1,200 for sophomores, $1,000 for juniors and seniors. This is up from $875 last year for the upperclassmen, and a minimum $600 is required for residents of the Tom Brown/Pete Wright Apartment Community, up from $550 per semester for the 2006-2007 academic year.

So, naturally, one would think the university would extend the eatery hours to accommodate more students paying out more money.

But spending the required balance has become an even more difficult task for students as school begins this year.

It is understood that most college students don’t have to eat by 8 p.m. so they can be in bed at 10:30 p.m. So where are students supposed to go for a late-night meal or snack now that the newly-defunct Ultimate Baja has now been replaced by La Vincinta and no longer keeps later hours? The change leaves Grill 155 as a diner’s only choice on Main Campus after 9 p.m.

Closing The Main at 4 p.m. and not keeping La Vincinta open Saturdays further limits the weekend choices. Pond St. Grill will now be open with pizza and burgers, but it’s not easy to get to unless students live in the Worth Hills area. Students will likely have to walk to their car in the parking lot on the edge of the earth and save their exercise for the pursuit of a meal. And if the weather is questionable, the trek is not going to be at the front of students’ minds.

If TCU wants to have a more residential feel, it is going to have to make sure all students are happy. To ensure this, more food options need to be available late at night and on the weekends, and that isn’t happening.

Besides that, it has increased the cost of campus dining, and the lack of facilities makes it harder for students to use up all the money on their cards.

Surely, this can’t be the university’s intent. Something needs to happen before the end of the semester or there will be a lot of unhappy people.

Michelle Nicoud is a junior news-editorial journalism major from Dallas.