Weekend Rat, can it be?

For too long have five day meal plan holders forgone meals on the weekends. Photo by Henry Gramling.

Involuntary intermittent fasting on weekends may finally come to an end

An update on the push for extended Rathskeller hours from the chair of your Student Government’s Student Concerns Committee, Willem Anderson:

During my days as a resident assistant, my residents would repeatedly tell me how the food options were both scarce and lower quality on the weekend. They would tell me how much they wish the Rathskeller was an option on Saturdays and Sundays.

In late September, as a newly elected senator, I produced a petition with a hundred signatures supporting the plan to open the Rathskeller area and restaurant on the weekend. As a result, we got our first win in October: The Rathskeller area would stay open until midnight for Monday through Thursday. Nevertheless, I believed the student body deserved hours on the weekend as well.

Alas, the plan for opening on the weekend suffered a great setback. Dining Services had a considerable problem where students would not return dishes, and I was told that that the issue would need to be fixed before moving forward with the weekend Rathskeller plan.

With the mentioned obstacle gone, March became the critical time period for the project. The month being broken up by two breaks, scheduling during this timeframe proved challenging. After delays, on Tuesday, March 19, I sent out a poll asking the student body if they wanted the Rathskeller restaurant open on the weekend and what times were preferable.

The data tells the full story. 98.4% of students support the plan, and 73.1% prefer Saturday altogether. 42.1% prefer Saturday evening, 31% support Saturday evening, 14.3% support Sunday afternoon and 12.7% support Sunday evening.

One responder commented, “I am greatly in favor of having more Rat hours. I think it is a great idea to provide more options on the weekend when the caf is more limited [with food options] than on the weekdays. Furthermore, it makes it possible for students to get snacks for weekend activities, such as movie nights.”

Thus, armed with the information you have provided, we had the all-important meeting to decide the future of the Rathskeller. On Thursday, April 4, after some back and forth, we reached an agreement with Dining Services:

The Rathskeller area will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Saturdays, and, most importantly, the restaurant will be open from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 4, giving the student body the first test of the weekend Rathskeller restaurant.

While the hope is that the weekend Rathskeller would become a permanent occurrence, nothing is set in stone yet. So, we need your help. Join us on May 4 in the Rathskeller. Show the university that we are missing a valuable service! I can tell you that while Dining Services will make the call, in the end only you, the reader and where you dine on May 4 can truly answer the question many have been asking: Weekend Rat, can it be?


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