Lunches at the University of New Brunswick’s dining halls will be reduced to 30 minutes effective immediately.
Jim Johnston, Sodexo’s general manager, announced in a statement that dining halls will only been open for lunch between 12–12:30 pm at all campus locations.
“Exams are approaching, and students need to focus on their studies. Following our consultations with Student Services, Sodexo has decided to cut lunch hours to prompt students to spend more time studying,” Johnston wrote in an email.
The student body is outraged.
“Not only does Sodexo have crappy pizza, now they have crappy hours too!” said Jared Palmer, first-year science student and amateur pizza critic.
Sarah Stevens, another UNB student, is concerned about the lack of time she will have to find something edible at lunch.
“Thirty minutes isn’t even enough time to find something I like in that place. I need to do at least five laps to find something other than toast or rice or something that hasn’t been there since breakfast,” Stevens said.
Sodexo workers are thrilled about the shortened hours.
Head chef Lea French said the quicker time will result in savings on frozen pizzas and tater tot casseroles.
“Frozen hash browns cost us $2 a bag, frozen pizzas are even more expensive at $4. So this will save us tons of money for the next month,” French said.
Cammy Osmon, the residence dining manager, also believes this is a smart financial move.
“We get most of our traffic between 12-12:30 pm, so why not cut hours for the staff? It’s less down time for workers and saves money for us; it’s a win-win,” Osmon said.
A Facebook event named “SodexNO” was created on March 27 by furious students. This protest is open to anyone who is angered by the hour cuts.
Students have been creating signs all week to protest at the event. Some signs read “We want justice, not tater tots!” and “Give us longer hours or give us UCard Cash!”
The SodexNO rally is scheduled for April 4 at 12:00 pm. Sodexo pizza slices and tater tots will be given out on the day of the protest for students to throw and splatter on the windows of McConnell Hall.
Second-year arts student Chris Magee, the lead organizer of SodexNO, is determined to achieve justice for UNB students and get the longer lunch hours back.
“We already pay an insane amount of money for this food, at least give us enough time to chew it,” Magee declared.