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University to decide in ‘near future’ on closing Colonial dining hall

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University at Albany officials said Friday they would decide in the “near future” whether to close Colonial Quad’s dining hall permanently.

“A decision about Colonial dining service beyond the current academic year will be made in the near future by the University’s executive leadership,” said Mike Nolan, vice president for communications and marketing.

“That decision will be made in consultation with UAS and seek to balance the services students want, the services available elsewhere on campus and the University’s commitment to provide a good value to students by keeping costs as low as possible.”

The possibility has been on the table since at least last fall. The university’s driving reason behind the closure would be a decrease in usage.

The minutes from a Sep. 29 University Auxiliary Services meeting discussed the possible closing.

“Mr. Pearse presented data for Colonial that shows a 52 percent decrease in transactions from the same time period last year,” read the minutes.

“Mr. Pearse led a discussion on the anticipated closure of Colonial and it was agreed that dining at Colonial needs to continue to be tracked and watched to know how to proceed.”

Colonial Quad is a sophomore residency. Sophomores can choose the myFlex meal plan option, which allows for discounted purchases at the campus center. Resident freshmen are automatically assigned the myUnlimited plan, which includes unlimited meal swipes at the quad dining halls.

Students are divided over the dining hall’s possible closure. Some see why the university would want to shut it down, while others feel it would be a poor decision.

“To be honest, it makes sense considering how that dining hall doesn’t have as much traffic compared to the ones in Indian and State,” said Justin Ruiz, a sophomore Colonial resident studying biochemistry.  “It would be nice if they made use of the space to be an extension of the stuff from the campus center.”

Others, like Dutch Quad sophomore Sophia Theodorou, enjoy the dining hall but would not necessarily miss it.

“Personally I think the setup is nicer and they even have a TV lounge spot and it just seems a little more comfortable,” said Theodorou.

“I think that shutting it down makes sense considering it’s not a freshman hall. At the very least Colonial is a short walk from State if people want a dining hall as an option.”

 

Correction: An earlier version said Nolan released a statement on Thursday. He released it Friday.

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