As students return to Alma this year, they will notice many changes to the campus and its facilities. One of the significant changes will be the closure of the popular dining service, Joe’s.
Joe’s Place was a dining service located in Tyler VanDusen which offered dining options such as burgers, wraps, salads and more.
It was a popular location on campus for its late-night hours and various snacks and drinks. For many students, Joe’s was a second option if their practices ran late or if the menu of Hamilton Commons was not appealing to them for that day.
Many students would stop by in between classes to pick up a quick meal when the dining hall was closed.
At the end of summer, the school found Joe’s Place to have a plumbing issue leading to the facility being shut down for the fall term. This unexpected situation has created a stir among the student body as students are now only given one option for their meal swipes.
The school has created Joe’s Retail Store inside Hamilton Commons to remedy the situation. This store will be selling candy, snack food and cold drinks. However, unlike Joe’s Place, there will be no hot food served and a limited variety of snack food offered.
The retail store provides later hours like Joe’s Place did, allowing students to find snack food later in the day once the dining hall closes after dinner. Though this is an excellent attempt to solve the issue of the closure at Joe’s Place, numerous problems still aren’t fixed.
One major issue arising from Joe’s closure is the topic of meal swipes. Before each term, every student is asked to choose between a few different meal plans. Some focus more on meal swipes, while others focus more on munch money. With Joe’s being shut down, students are now forced to use more munch money, disproportionately affecting those who chose the meal swipe-based plan.
Students spend thousands of dollars on meal plans per year, and it is frustrating when one of the two options to use our meal swipes is taken away. Many students struggle to spend their meal swipes already with two options. Now, with only one chance to use our meal swipes, numerous people will be left with many more unused meal swipes compared to when Joe’s was open.
Though the dining hall offers a variety of food options, some people are picky eaters and will not want to eat what is served on the menu. These students are now forced to choose to use their munch money or their personal money and eat off campus. With food prices on the rise, this option will not be available to many.
Until winter term begins, students will have to learn to adapt to this unfortunate situation. In the coming months, Alma College will continue to update the study body on the state the facility is in. Luckily this change is not permanent and will be fixed in the next few months.