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UC Seeks To Keep Dining Halls Open During Spring Break

By Steven S. Lee, Crimson Staff Writer

Representatives of the Undergraduate Council met on Sunday for their general meeting, voting in favor of legislation that would officially request Harvard University Dining Services and the Office of Student Life—which determines dining hall schedules—to provide spring break dining starting in the 2013-2014 school year.

The Act to Reinstate Spring Break Dining, which was unanimously approved by the Council, calls for one dining hall to be open for every meal and every day during spring break, citing the dining services provided by the College for Wintersession and Thanksgiving break.

“I think a lot of students are concerned about the fact that they have no option but to spend a lot of money going out two or three times a day,” said Currier representative Sietse K. Goffard ’15, sponsor and author of the legislation.

Goffard mentioned that HUDS offered an optional spring break meal plan around 15 years ago, but that it was discontinued due to lack of interest. Nevertheless, he argued that the preferences of the student body have changed and that HUDS and the OSL should consider re-instating spring break dining. New Dean of Student Life Stephen Lassonde attended the meeting, and Goffard directly indicated his willingness to work on this issue with him and the OSL.

Much of the Council’s discussion of the legislation focused on the needs of students on financial aid and international students, who might have no choice but to stay on campus during spring break.

“What’s especially concerning is that a lot of the students who are here [during spring break] because of financial constraints have a hard time affording [meals off-campus],” said Goffard. “It hits them even harder.”

Representatives also held a preliminary discussion on the possibility of creating a Latin American Studies degree at Sunday’s meeting.

UC Vice President Jen Q. Zhu ’14 solicited initial thoughts and feedback from representatives on the issue before her planned meetings with Latino groups on campus.

“I’ve heard from students who would want to major in [Latin American Studies], but I think first it’s really important that we talk to these student organizations to see what they think is appropriate,” Zhu said.

One representative suggested that it was crucial for there to be a clear distinction between whether or not students were looking for a degree focused solely on Latin America or more generally on Latinos, which would extend beyond Central and South America.

“If this does turn out to be something that students want to see at Harvard, then that’s something that the UC should definitely investigate,” said Zhu.

—Staff writer Steven S. Lee can be reached at Follow her @StevenSJLee.

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