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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Editorial: Practical action marks possibility of new Union direction

Published: January 18, 2008
Section: Opinions

In the spirit of New Year’s resolutions, it appears that the Student Union is resolving to rise above the infighting of last semester and focusing on making concrete progress in the direction of the student body’s wants and needs.

Over the winter break it became apparent that, due to architectural difficulties, the late-night diner slated to open in the Village was going to be keeping its doors shut. While this is an unfortunate development, the Student Union and Aramark deserve to be commended for not only continuing to plan a diner for the Village space in spite of problems outside of their control, but also for scrambling and providing a completely appropriate alternative in the form of extended hours at the Stein.

“It’s going to be everything that we wanted at the diner, except at the Stein,” said Union Director of Research and Development Sridatta Mukherjee ’09. This is great work by the Union, considering that the problem developed and was handled during winter break, when students’ minds are typically on anything but campus issues.

A late-night food option is in obvious demand by the Brandeis student body, and it is noteworthy that the Union was not content to simply postpone the opening, which would have been understandable given the myriad difficulties in this situation. Instead, the Union responded quickly, reaching a compromise that does not significantly alter anything for the students. This situation could have descended into another contentious construction matter, in the manner of Ridgewood, but it didn’t, due to the Union’s swiftness in addressing it.

The problem with the Village diner, now being called Ollie’s Eatery, was that officials were concerned that the ventilation system was piping through a residence hall, and we do have to question why this problem was not noticed earlier, as it seems a critical detail when incorporating dining facilities into an already existing residency. Also, this should be taken as a lesson for the future, as alterations to any of the residence halls should take into account that mixing dining and dorms can cause trouble.

In the end though, the Union’s response to this situation was admirable. It found a viable alternative, made sure that student concerns were addressed, and did it in an exceedingly short period of time. We hope this effectiveness continues for the rest of the semester.