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The Blue & Gray Press | May 24, 2017

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Overcrowding and Long Lines at Seaco Frustrate Students

By Breeanna Sveum
Viewpoints Editor

Last week, my friends and I went to Seaco at noon for lunch, as we usually do on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. The frustration incurred from the long lines to enter the building was further compounded by the lack of available tables able to fit the six of us, forcing us to take our lunches outside, just so we could sit down to eat.

Now, had this happened last year, the minor inconvenience of going outside would have been fine . The weather was lovely, and, then, there were plenty of tables at which we could sit. True, most of them were small tables that could only sit two or three, but they were tables nonetheless.

This year, with the opening of the deck at the Nest and the porch of Lee Hall, those tables have been relocated, and there aren’t any outside of Seaco.

I’m sure my story isn’t unique: the lines back up around noon every day, and I’ve seen other students forced to eat outside as well.

This might not seem like a big deal now, while the weather is nice and in the upper 70s or 80s, but in a few weeks, temperatures will drop to the 50s, making eating outside considerably less pleasant.

So why all the people? Well, to some degree, a lot of students like to have lunch at noon, between classes. But that’s not the only reason for the back up.

In addition to being the most diverse, the current freshman class is also the largest.

If the school is going to increase acceptance, thereby increasing the student body (especially with freshman who are pretty much restricted to eating on campus and having a fifteen-meal plan), changes will have to be made to accommodate the extra people.

There’s at least one more card reader that I know of, usually tucked away on the wall between the South Market and the Dome Room, that, to my knowledge, has never been used. There is also a convenient set of doors right there that could be used for an additional line, at the very least during the mid-day lunch rush. It would only need to be staffed for two hours or so, and it would severely cut down the wait time outside of the building, resulting in students being better able to get to their next classes on time.

There isn’t a lot that can be done about the long lines and lack of available tables, but more options for meals would help. The Underground serves food during the day, but currently, they only accept Flex or Eagleone/Cash. Why? Meal equivalency has worked at the Nest and implementing meals at the Underground would reduce traffic and lines at both Seaco and the Nest.

At the very least, tables should be moved back outside of the Dome Room in Seaco, allowing students to eat outside if they can’t find a table inside the building.

The long lines both inside Seaco and outside of the building are frustrating but not impossible to fix. Small changes, like having another line into Seaco during the lunch rush or bringing back the tables so students can eat outside would go a long way for reducing the amount of frustration students feel as wll as allowing them sufficient time to eat between classes.Last week, my friends and I went to Seaco at noon for lunch, as we usually do on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. The frustration incurred from the long lines to enter the building was further compounded by the lack of available tables able to fit the six of us, forcing us to take our lunches outside, just so we could sit down to eat.

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