There were 2,892 science majors in 2011 according to Baylor Institutional Research and Testing.
That’s about a fourth of Baylor’s 2011 total undergraduate enrollment of 12,754. That number does not include graduate students and faculty members with offices in the Baylor Sciences Building who might spend more time there than undergraduate students with classes there. That number also doesn’t include students from other majors that take classes in the BSB.
That’s a pretty good percentage.
So why is it so difficult for the thousands of people that co
me in and out of the science building to use their meal plan swipes and dining dollars there?
Three restaurants are located in the BSB.
Which Wich and Moe’s Southwestern Grill both close at 3 p.m. on weekdays and are closed on the weekends. The BSB Atrium Café, the third restaurant, serves a limited number of pastries and snacks that may run out well before the restaurant closes at 7 p.m. on weekdays. By about mid-afternoon, there is often barely any food left.
These early closing times make it almost impossible for students or faculty getting out of later classes to get food before club meetings, researching or even sitting down to study in the BSB. Even for students in mid-morning classes, it’s difficult to find time to wait in a 15 to 20 minute line for lunch, especially if these students are in back-to-back classes.
What recourse do these students and faculty have?
Due to the inconvenience, many may choose to forgo eating to avoid waiting in line or being late if they haven’t brought anything with them. Skipping meals is not unheard of, especially when students have late-night tests, organizational meetings, supplemental instruction sections or any other event happening late at night. Students also do research for several hours a week in the BSB many staying right up until the BSB closes or even later.
Apart from eating at BSB restaurants, students in a hurry could choose to eat at the two dining halls closest to the BSB, Penland Dining Hall and Memorial Dining Hall. These are both some distance away, however. It could take 10 minutes to walk to Penland in a hurry, or 15 if you’re going at a leisurely pace.
This makes it difficult for students to get food there, even if they have a free period in between their classes to walk to the cafeterias. Penland, Memorial and Brooks dining halls all close in between breakfast and lunch, and lunch and dinner. Collins, which is the only on-campus cafeteria open nonstop from morning until evening, is the furthest cafeteria from the BSB. It’s literally on one corner of campus, and the BSB is on the opposite corner of campus. We’re willing to guess it’s at least a 20-minute walk.
Sure, you could take the shuttle that goes from Collins to Goebel, but really who has time to match their schedule with the shuttle schedule every single day? Or, heaven forbid, the shuttle is late and you’re late for that biochem quiz that takes place during the first eight minutes of class.
The restaurants in the BSB should stay open later. Right now, students have three choices, but they have limited access to food as the day goes on because of closing time and a potential snack shortage. If Baylor were to keep the options it has open later, it would solve all of those problems.