Hampshire Dining Commons closed for Columbus Day weekend

By Katherine Clark

Hampshire Dining Commons will be closed for Columbus Day weekend.

But unlike next semester, it won’t be for renovations.

“Closing Hampshire will be a good way of being more efficient. It will cut back on labor costs, waste and electricity costs,” said Ken Toong, executive director of auxiliary services.

Cade Belisle/Collegian

Approximately 70 percent of University of Massachusetts students leave for the three-day weekend, making it unnecessary to have two dining commons open in Southwest Residential Area, Toong said.

Hampshire and Berkshire Dining Commons can serve a combined average of 12,000 students per day. On long weekends like Columbus Day weekend, that average drops to about 4,000 students.

“On slow weekends like this, we really don’t need both of the dining commons open,” Toong said. “We can do more with less, and having one dining common open can easily handle the amount of students that will be here.”

It’s also going to help with food waste, Toong said.

Each student at UMass wastes about five ounces of the food they consume at the dining commons, according to Toong. The number will be significantly less with Hampshire closed for the weekend.

Toong said the closing of Hampshire would be advertised on posters and on the UMass Dining page. Students are also being informed by staff at the dining commons.

Some students are in agreement that it’s a good idea to close the cafeteria.

“With so many people going home it makes sense that they’ll close it,” said sophomore Chloe Gilligan.

This weekend’s closure will serve as a preview for next semester, when Hampshire is closed for renovations.

The three other dining commons will be open during the three-day weekend.

Katherine Clarke can be reached at [email protected]