SAN DIEGO — It’s lunch time at UC San Diego, thing is depending on when and where you dine on campus you could be waiting a while to sit down and actually eat or even be out of options if you get out of class late.
"It just takes a long time," said Freshman and San Diego native Justin. "When you're ordering online, [it] takes like 50 minutes sometimes."
"A lot of dining halls that were open past midnight are now closing at like 7:00 p.m," said Senior Shweta. "So people are left without really any options on campus after 7:00 p.m."
Frustrated by the high price of the meal plan and seemingly few options for their kids, parents have been sounding off on Facebook groups like UCSD Parents. One writing, "learned my daughter only ate one meal yesterday due to long lines." And another, "my kiddo just tried to order from Pines and apparently they are not accepting any orders right now."
"They can't they can't even get lunch between classes because the wait times are so long," said Brigette Rosendall, the mother of a UCSD student.
"They would miss classes if they were to try to find food for lunch between classes. So they just skip lunch entirely," she said.
Rosendall pays for the meal plan and it’s not cheap. According to the university website, students have the choice of two plans, one is nearly $3,800 and another just over $5,600 a semester. But, with some students fed up with the waits in the dining hall, that’s leaving money on the table.
"Many students don't have that luxury of being able to have that additional income from their parents after they've paid all this money for the food services on campus." she says
In a statement, the university said the nationwide labor shortage has led to longer wait times but is committed to hiring more staff.
"It is typical for the dining team to increase staffing from summer to fall quarter as students return. The University hired and onboarded several full-time dining staff members and dining student employees who started last and this week, and hopes to see a similar trend for the upcoming weeks as well," spokeswoman Leslie Sepuka said via email.
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