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Kudos to the Undergraduate Council for its introduction of a Dining Services Task Force to negotiate with Harvard Dining Services (HDS) to provide more flexibility in meal plans on campus. The Dining Services Task Force is only one of several task forces newly created by the Council's Student Affairs Committee to address pressing student issues. We'd like to suggest the following proposals for the Task force to consider in their negotiations with HDS:
*First, and most importantly: extend meal hours to accommodate students' hectic schedules. In some houses, lunch is served only from 12-2, preventing students with consecutive midday classes from eating in-house until dinner. And how many of us have finished classes and meetings only to realize that it's past 7 and dinner is over? The best solution to this problem is to stagger hours: Those houses with shared kitchens can have similar hours, but that shouldn't keep Winthrop, for example, from closing one hour after Adams for lunch, or Dunster from being open for dinner until eight o'clock.
We'd also like all the dining halls to keep cereal, drinks, fruit and bread available throughout the day.
*Second, allow missed house meals to be exchanged for Board Plus money so that we can eat in the Greenhouse, Loker Commons, the Dudley Cafe or the Kennedy School. In addition, Crimson Cash should be a payment option at Cafe Gato Rojo and C'est Bon in the Barker Center. Though the bag lunch system is useful for students who can anticipate their schedules far enough ahead to order a lunch, many of us are often unexpectedly caught without the time to sit down and eat a full meal.
*Third, lift the restriction on upperclass students eating at Annenberg Hall for lunch at dinner, at least to the point where a first-year can host a sophomore, junior or senior as his or her guest. Such a move would foster further interaction among the classes as does the current interhouse program--and without over-crowding the dining room.
The council is on the right track with its new task force system. We hope that the dining services Task Force and HDS can negotiate these adjustments to the meal-plan, changes which are literally of bread-and-butter importance to Harvard students.
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