Dining Services cuts hours at Wildcat Den and Marketplace

Shana Schmitt

As part of the many budget cuts made this year, NMU made the decision last April to cut the hours at both the Den and the Marketplace.

The Den is no longer open on the weekends, and the Marketplace now closes at 8 p.m. every day. Last year, the Marketplace was open Monday through Wednesday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., Thursday and Friday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

“We looked at the budget and the flow of students to the Den on the weekend and determined it just wasn’t feasible to keep it operational,” said Greg Minner, director of Dining Services.

Students had the option in April to attend an open forum addressing what the future hours would be. Few students attended, but one issue that was voiced was the kind of alternatives that could be offered in place of the Den on the weekends.

The consensus reached was to move Café Libri from the bookstore to the Den and keep it open on the weekends. There, students can purchase pizza, grilled items, and a variety of other items.

“Students can use their constant meal plan to purchase items up to $7,” Minner said.

Café Libri is open all week long, but hours are extended until 6 p.m. on the weekends. Anyone with a resident meal plan or campus cuisine meal plan can get up to $7 worth of food with one meal swipe.

“So far Café Libri has been pretty popular,” Minner said. “On average we are seeing around 70 to 80 transactions per weekend.”

Sally Osentoski, a sophomore elementary education social studies major, said she isn’t happy with the change in hours.

“I do have problems with it, particularly on Mondays,” Osentoski said. “I have work and class from 11 until eight with only one one-hour break. It isn’t fun knowing that I really don’t get dinner.”

Meghan Webber, a freshman criminal justice major, lives in West Hall. For her, finding time to eat the Den can be problematic.

“The Den hours make it kind of hard for me because after class I work at the Marketplace,” Webber said. “But if you spent a lot of time at the Marketplace or other halls like I do, it doesn’t really make a difference.”

There are two upcoming events that students can attend to voice their opinion on this and other dining services-related issues. The first is a “Let’s Chat” with Dining Services on Wednesday, Oct. 12 in the Den.

The second is a Food Advisory Board meeting on Oct. 8, time to be determined. It will be held in the conference room of the Dining Services Office.

Any students interested should contact the Dining Services Office at (906) 227-2520.