Throughout the pandemic, companies all over the U.S. have suffered from staffing shortages, and Bridgewater State University is no exception. The BSU dining halls have had to make changes to accommodate the lack of employees from limited hours to partial closures.
However, these accommodations have led to an uptick in complaints from students on platforms like Yik Yak and the BSU mobile app. Students have claimed that the university isn’t working hard enough. But is this actually true? Or is the student body not giving BSU dining enough slack?
“We have hired a fair amount of people since the fall so spring is better than the fall but yeah we are still struggling with some open positions, and the way it’s affected it overall is we can’t expand our hours as much as we wanted to,” said BSU dining general manager, Staci DeSimone.
DeSimone explained that even though the hours may seem strange, it is the best way they could see to accommodate as many students as possible.
“We could have very easily recommended to the university that we only wanted one dining hall open but that dining hall could be open full capacity, but we realized that each location gives a different level of experience,” said DeSimone. “When you have a diverse student population on campus, you have a lot of nontraditional students, you have commuters you have residents, we want to think about all of them. What may be good for one group might not be good for another.”
Livia Freeman, a BSU student living in Woodward Hall said, “I think the availability during the week is fine, but on the weekends there is very little to eat and usually it’s mostly meat and fries. On weekends I usually walk to east campus because I don’t want food from Park Ave.”
Livia is not the only student who feels this way.
“Patience through these core issues has been wonderful. I think they’re also seeing it in their everyday lives too so they realize it’s not just here at BSU,” said DeSimone.
Though the dining halls have had to make sacrifices due to staffing issues, there is light at the end of the tunnel. BSU dining is often advertising open positions for students, giving them the opportunity to help with the issue themselves.