The Late Night food service at the Nest has started checking IDs and giving wristbands to prevent underage drinking in the Eagles’ Nest.
While preventing underage drinking is a reasonable and expected goal for the University, this new policy does not solve the larger problems with Late Night that led to students being served alcohol in the first place or preventing students from wanting to drink. With some changes, however, the Late Night service could become more competitive, be more fun for students, and be seen as more than a place to sober up after a night out.
First of all, Late Night would benefit from a better payment system. Currently, students hand over all their IDs to their server, who is often serving over a dozen people, and must not only take their orders, but walk back and forth to registers.
Food service at Late Night is notoriously slow due to understaffing, disorganization, and a lack of operating registers. It’s not uncommon to wait over an hour for food.
Harried servers and lack of management are likely the real causes of underage students getting access to alcohol.
If students paid for their food the same way they pay for it during the day time—directly at the register, preferably at more than one register—than this process would be sped up and students would be served in the order they arrived, rather than in spurts.
A better method for serving drinks would also be preferable.
Senior Night became crowded and disorganized not only due to the crowd, but do to the large amount of drink orders that had to be taken from the back kitchen by only a few servers. Other campuses, such as William and Mary, have bars and late night food services that serve beer and other drinks on tap and behind a bar.
Students who want to order drinks must go up to the counter themselves, easing the burden on the servers and making checking IDs easier as well.
Speeding up service would make Late Night less frustrating to students, but offering more entertainment options while students wait would also work.
Although Late Night does offer events like Open Mic night and Karaoke, not all students want to participate in performing or even find these events interesting.
The Nest is right across from the Wash Room; why not leave it open so that students can use the pool and air hockey tables on weekend nights as well? Providing board games or cards in the eating area would also give something for students to do other than drink and eat.
Students already enjoy the Late Night service, but improving it would make it even more popular and comparable to services at other Universities.
It would also give students a safe place on campus and options other than off-campus drinking that they might take advantage of more often.
At the very least, it would encourage more students to come there after partying, as they frequently do.
Sitting on campus, eating cheese fries with other students, is likely one of the safest places a student, intoxicated or not, can be on a Saturday night, and it’s in the University’s interest to have as many students as possible enjoying the Late Night service.