Collins, home of ‘flying saucer,’ to close

By Claire Cameron

Collins Dining Hall is calling it quits.

It was announced Thursday at the student senate meeting that the dining hall will officially close in the fall of 2014.

“After careful consideration and research, we have decided that Collins was the best candidate for closure,” said Brian Nicholson, associate vice president for facility, planning and construction.

Baylor currently has five dining halls on campus: East Village, Penland, Memorial, Brooks and Collins.

Dr. Jeff Doyle, dean for student learning and engagement, said closing Collins is for the best because it will lower the cost of meal plans and give more money for improvements to the other dining halls.

“It’s sad to lose it, but it’s more beneficial to students,” Doyle said.

Nicholson said Baylor has been looking to improve its dining facilities. After research by student groups and advice from facilities management companies such as Aramark and Compass during the summer, it was suggested that one dining hall on campus be closed.

“Collins doesn’t offer social spaces like the other dining halls do,” Nicholson said. “Brooks is newer and has better facilities, as does East Village. Penland is the largest, and we would be unable to compensate its loss while Memorial is more centrally located on campus.”

Nicholson also said closing Collins will bring lower prices on meal plans and higher quality food to the other dining halls.

“We will be able to spend money on renovating the older dining halls and possibly even making improvements to the SUB,” he said.

No specific date had been set for the day Collins Dining Hall will close.

“Since Collins is one the more popular dorms for incoming freshman girls, we have made it known on the website that the dining hall will no longer be there and we have sent an email to all Collins resident letting them know of the impending closure,” Doyle said.

Concerns were raised that Collins Dining Hall is the only dining hall open during the middle of the day.

“I feel like students need it,” said Sugar Land junior Amira Legally. “I have a crazy schedule, so the only time I can get lunch is between 2 to 4 p.m. and Collins is usually the only one open at that time, so I rely on it.”

Legally said she thinks it is a terrible idea to close Collins.

“I don’t go to East Village,” she said. “I eat at Collins. It’s so convenient.”

Nicholson said all services Collins offers won’t be lost.

“Collins offers many things to students, however none of that will disappear,” Nicholson said. “It will move to another dinning hall.”

Houston senior Kyle Hinn said he thought closing Collins is for the best.

“I think it’s a bit of a shock, but I think in the long run it will be good,” Hinn said. “For the four years I’ve been here, I rarely eat at Collins and for other dining programs to sustain and grow, it’s necessary.”