Due to budget cuts at the University of North Dakota, Terrace Dining Center will be closing for good. After flooding occurred over Winter Break, attendance dropped and stayed low. So, the dining center will close. Of course, its closing affects a lot of people. While Terrace was the least used of all the dining centers, its existence took the load off the dining centers. Squires Dining Center will have to remain open for extended lunch hours. Before, it could close at 1:30 and then open again at 4:30. This allowed the chefs, dish room, and janitorial staff to catch up and prepare for the dinner shift.
The director of Dining Services, Orlynn Rosaasen, released the news to campus. He explained that Terrace will be closing on May 11, 2017. Squires will thus be open longer and residents of Swanson Residence Hall will receive more dining dollars as compensation.
He said “We made these choices in order to make UND Dining Services better for the future. Making these changes will allow us to keep our costs low, which in turn, will keep your dining costs down.” While the administration has certain agendas, there are people that have to deal with these changes.
Bruce Pantzer and Becky Shide, the head chefs at Squires, are the two people who have to deal with a lot of these changes. Bruce and Becky show up at noon every weekday, where they prepare food for Greek houses that order menus, the dining center itself, and the next day’s menu. This involves making all the food that students see on the menu. All the menus have been made ahead of time, and are given to the chefs at the beginning of the week. It is their job to prepare all the food. If there is a pork roast being served that day, it is likely that Bruce or Becky seasoned it, panned it up, and then cooked in the oven. All the food goes through them.
Bruce said, “Some days we barely get everything out in time. We feed almost a thousand people every day. That four hours between lunch and dinner are critical downtime.” Most of the time is spent cleaning up the dining center and making sure all the food is cooked properly.
“Without those four hours, it’s gonna be even more exhausting,” Bruce said. He and Becky have worked at Squires for 12 years.
Becky said, “We have seen a lot of changes in the past few years. When Wilkerson closed for renovation, we had to keep these hours too. But it seems like this will be permanent.” Bruce and Becky have been on campus for a long time and are dedicated to keeping up the quality of the food and ensuring a good dining center.
Becky also said, “Of course I’m frustrated that we have to stay open longer. We have to work that much harder without that four-hour break. And it is hard to see campus changing so much. It seems like students are not happy with all these budget cuts.”
These two veteran cooks will have to pick up someone else’s slack. The employees at Terrace will have to go somewhere, so that leaves some hope for relief. Currently, it is unclear what will happen with those employees.
The budgets cuts have been hitting the University hard. For dining services, this has been one of the biggest impacts so far. For the staff, it just makes the whole work day that much longer. The two chefs expressed hope though.
Bruce said, “I’m not excited by the changes. But I know that campus will be fine. We will just keep working and trying to improve as much as we can.”