OPINION: MSC restaurants need to extend their hours

Extending the operating hours of restaurants in the Marshall Student Center would provide busy USF students with more diverse dinner options. ORACLE PHOTO

It’s no secret the Marshall Student Center (MSC) has some of the better restaurants on campus. The MSC houses familiar commercial dining options such as Chick-fil-A, Panera, Moe’s, Subway, Jamba Juice, Panda Express and Papa John’s. 

The MSC is also one of the earliest closing eating options on campus. It closes at 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 4 p.m. on Fridays and closes entirely on the weekends.

The food court should remain open late, just like other dining halls such as Argos and Juniper that close at 10 p.m. These later hours make life for students who attend late classes, clubs or practices much easier.

Second-year student Abagail Adkins agreed that it would be more convenient if the MSC’s restaurants were open later.

“My church meets here at 7:30, so it would definitely be better if I could get food right before it started,” Adkins said in a Feb. 15 interview with The Oracle.

Although USF does offer other late night dining options, they simply do not compare with the comforting familiarity of Panera’s soups or a bowl from Moe’s.

Most students do not have the luxury of an apartment-style dorm equipped with a kitchen, leaving many students unable to cook for themselves. There are only four resident halls on campus out of 13 that offer kitchen spaces for students, according to the hall amenities provided in USF Housing and Residential Education.

USF’s hall rates show that the most affordable residence halls are Beta and Castor halls. The amenities for both include a single kitchen per entire residence floor. These dorms can house 280 students at maximum capacity, according to the Housing website. Beta Hall consists of five floors total.

With these numbers in mind, it’s unrealistic for the average student to rely on having an open kitchen to cook at night. This is especially true for students requiring the kitchen at the same time.

To resolve the issue of limited or similar options, restaurants in the MSC should extend their hours to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 6 p.m. on Friday.