Furman University's Student Newspaper

The Paladin

Furman University's Student Newspaper

The Paladin

Furman University's Student Newspaper

The Paladin

Earlier DH Opening Was the Right Call

Hours still need to be more transparent and consistent.
Courtesy of Furman University
Variants of praise and criticism have been heard around campus – some students want to push back against the administration’s rules, while others are unbothered by the policies.

Last Friday, in addition to the usual coronavirus information, our weekly Furman Focused update contained an intriguing yet inconspicuous announcement. It read: “Adjusted hours in the DH: After monitoring the traffic last week, Bon Appetit will adjust the Dining Hall hours and open earlier, starting at 7:15 a.m., effective Tuesday, Sept. 7.” This is a much-needed change and represents a step in the right direction for Furman’s dining services.

Though I have generally had few complaints in my time at Furman, the opening and closing times of our dining services have always been a sore spot. During the past four years, there have been many instances when I have arrived after a cross-campus trek at one of our five dining establishments, only to find it closed. This has happened most often on the weekends, when the DH opens late and the PDen does not open at all until 2:00 p.m. on Sunday. It has also happened in the afternoons between 2:00 and 5:00, when the DH used to lock its doors for dinner prep. I distinctly remember arriving one morning at 7:00 a.m., hoping to grab something quickly, only to be told that the doors would not open for another half-hour – by which time I had to be downtown. It puzzled me: though I was no early bird, I knew that there were plenty who regularly ate before 7:30 a.m. This is especially true on the weekends, when the opening time is not until 9:00 a.m. and nothing else is open before.

Many of my frustrations could be solved by greater transparency: conflicting sources make accurate information shockingly hard to pin down. The Dining Hall website says that it closes its doors at 8:30 p.m. on weekdays, while the Furman Now! app, concurring with the sign at the entrance, says 9:30 p.m. However, the sign at the entrance also says that the DH is closed from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. except on Saturdays – yet, as I recently confirmed for myself, they are in fact allowing people in during that time to use the sandwich and salad bar. A sign posted on the door of the Barnes and Noble Starbucks also disagrees with the hours listed on the Furman Now! app; until recently, the same was true of the Library Café.

Ultimately, I would offer three recommendations to Furman with respect to dining. First, standardize the dining hours. Follow the example of our most reliable establishment, Bread and Bowl, which I have not yet mentioned. Bread and Bowl is quite simply open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day. If we have to change things up on the weekends, have standard weekend hours and standard weekday hours. The key is that the schedule should be easy to remember.

Second, keep information up to date. This means that, when the dining schedules change, as they inevitably do, the official website should be the first place to display the new hours. This could even be done daily; the Paddock, for instance, recently had to close temporarily due to staffing shortages, which could easily have been posted online but was not.

Finally, help out the early risers by having at least some options before 9 a.m. on the weekends. I’m not suggesting we fire up the whole DH for a small handful of students, but it would be nice to have something available somewhere on campus – say, a grab-and-go stand with cold offerings.

Last week’s Furman Focused email indicates that someone in charge of things is aware of these problems and is working to fix them. From the email’s assertion that they have been systematically monitoring DH traffic, it sounds as if that “someone” is even taking a scientific approach to ensuring that we have the best service possible. This is exactly the approach that is needed. As an insulated college with a residency requirement, Furman relies on its dining services. Clark Murphy lacks any kind of cooking facilities and SoHo has only a few. Going off-campus is an option, but it has its costs in time, money, and gas – to say nothing of the fact that COVID-wary students of all grades may still be hesitant about venturing into the community. Furman’s dining services are important, and they need to be open broadly and consistently.

So, to the individual responsible for moving back the DH’s opening time, I present these recommendations as simple suggestions for further investigation. Meanwhile, to the confused student, I present a complete schedule of Furman’s dining facilities, as relayed to me in person by the dining staff:



M-Th: 7:30-2, 5-9:30*

F: 7:30-2, 5-8:30*

Sat: 9-2, 5-8*

Sun: 9-2, 5-9:30*

*sandwich and salad bar from 2-5


PDen (hours for individual vendors vary)

M-F: 7-9

Sat: Closed

Sun: 2-9


Library Café

M-Th: 8-11

F: 8-4

Sat/Sun: Closed


Bread and Bowl

11-10 daily


Barnes and Noble Café

M-F: 8-5

Sat: 10-2

Sun: Closed

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Paladin

Your donation will support the student journalists of Furman University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Paladin

Comments (0)

All The Paladin Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *