Baylor Dining Services works to feed on-campus students amid winter weather, power outages

By Annaleise Parsons | Staff Writer, Video by Gracie Ozburn | Broadcast Reporter

Baylor Dining Services is now using social media as the main outlet for communicating information to students about dining hours and locations as intense winter weather continues across Texas.

Retail restaurant locations on-campus including Starbucks, Chick-fil-A and Panda Express remain closed as Texas road conditions continue to prove hazardous. The Bill Daniel Student Center, which houses retail on-campus food restaurants, had a broken pipe that has required overnight repair and restaurants to be shut down.

“Many of our staff are still stuck at home without power going on 30+ hours, with no transportation,” Baylor Dining posted on their Instagram. “We are so thankful for the staff who live close by and have made it in to work … There are still several menu options to choose from in our open dining location.”

A majority of off-campus restaurants remain closed or have limited hours due to the road conditions and power outages around Waco.

Penland Dining Hall has been the only dining hall open for all three meals since Monday night with limited hours for each meal. The salad station, grill station and fruit have become self-serve for students to grab and go. There are no to-go containers available.

“We [Baylor Dining] originally intended to open Penland, East Village, and Memorial, but as the morning went on it was apparent we wouldn’t have the staff,” Aramark Resident District Manager Sean McMahon said in an email interview to Lariat TV News broadcast reporter Gracie Ozburn. “We decided that it would be better to open one location … and moved students through as quickly as possible.”

Conway, Ark., freshman Chloe Solis said Baylor should have been more prepared as some students didn’t have any transportation to get groceries before the snowstorm hit and waited in line for hours outside to get limited food.

“I am more than thankful for the workers at the working level of Baylor … I know that they’re risking their lives potentially to come feed us, and I’m more than appreciative of that.” Solis said. “I just believe that there could have been more structure to … feeding students. There’s a lot of us … If there’s a way to organize us in shifts or something, so students weren’t waiting out in the cold to get food or risk not even getting food because they [Baylor] weren’t prepared for this.”

Atlanta freshman David West said he was thankful for the work people are doing to make do in a tough situation, though he is frustrated by the situation as a whole.

“We should be thankful for what we have, but we are allowed to be frustrated if the services we are paying for are not being provided,” West said.

Students can reach out with questions and see the latest Baylor dining hall updates, location hours and vegetarian and vegan food options available at @baylordining on Instagram and Facebook.