Varsity Inn at Gibbs Hall is officially closing its doors.
Unfortunately, that leaves numerous students on a meal plan that no longer includes the menu previously offered by Varsity Inn. Shaun McNeely, senior in logistics, said that the change in dining will greatly affect his lifestyle and eating habits.
"(Varsity Inn closing) means I won't be able to eat real and healthy food anymore," McNeely said. "I'll have to eat the fake eggs at Presidential. My diet is Paleo-based — where you eat no bread, grains or pasta — and that is all Presidential has to offer. It means I'll never leave the cafeteria full because there is nothing to eat."
There are legitimate reasons for the cafeteria's close. SGA president Adam Roddy said the average loss for operating Varsity Inn over the last three years ranged between $750,000 to $800,000 per year.
To appease the uproar arising mainly on social media, the university has offered a special dining option. Students who have already signed up for the Varsity-Inn plan will be allowed to stay on the same plan, but it will become the campus-15 plan.
"Those in University Housing and UT Dining were quite accommodating to students in how they allowed for the affected students to change their meal plans and housing options," Roddy said. "The Dining Services even went so far as to grant the students on the Varsity Inn Meal Plan a more encompassing meal plan at the same price."
Unfortunately, the plan failed to have the desired effect. Few students are satisfied with the substitute plan.
Colin Skinner, senior in journalism and electronic media, said the closing of Varsity Inn was upsetting. His experience at Varsity Inn was something that he enjoyed and the absence of it will be felt.
"Gibbs Hall is a great dining experience because it combines demographics like athletes and non-athletes in a place where the food is quality. Fraternity guys could even get free protein there. It was great. The fact that the school, or athletic administration rather, wants to take this experience away from all demographics and make it into a practice session for players is both upsetting and unfair."
Roddy said that while the close was a necessary act, the operation may not have been handled appropriately.
"I believe the major problem with the whole issue was a simple lack of awareness and information," Roddy said. "Athletics decided to, for the most part, close the Varsity Inn. The major problem with this was that they did not inform the students of this until long after they had already signed up for meal plans. Even certain administrators and administrative offices had been 'left out of the loop' and were surprised to hear of this. This resulted in many students rightfully being upset at the fact that their meal plan was being changed after they already signed up for it."
Roddy encourages students to express their opinions on the matter as the change in dining options will effect each and every student.