Central Student Government voted to open South Quad early on the Saturday after St. Patrick's day at their meeting Tuesday night.
St. Patrick’s Day:
CSG passed a resolution to allocate $1,000 out of the Legislative Discretionary budget to fund opening a dining hall earlier on Saturday, March 19. South Quad will open at 9 a.m. instead of 10:30 a.m., according to the resolution.
Members of CSG said they introduced the resolution because they believe St. Patrick’s Day is a high-risk drinking holiday.
These policies aim to allow students the opportunity to eat breakfast before drinking, so that they aren’t consuming alcohol on an empty stomach, according to members. The earlier hours are carried out in conjunction with Michigan Dining, with the funding aiming to partially cover the cost of opening earlier.
Similar efforts to curb the effects of day drinking with earlier dining hall hours were implemented this academic year on several football game days, following a CSG resolution passed on Sept. 9, 2015.
At a CSG meeting on Sept. 16, after a pilot of the program was implemented, CSG President Cooper Charlton, a LSA senior, said he thought the program was showing signs of success.
“We were able to, in my opinion, prevent some trips to the hospital because students had food in their stomachs,” Charlton said.
During earlier hours on the first game day the program was piloted on, 1,394 students swiped into South Quad, as compared to 114 arriving after the usual opening time, according to CSG. An increase of students was also reported at Hill and Bursley dining centers during the earlier hours.
Tuesday’s resolution to open one dining hall early on the Saturday after St. Patrick’s day passed with 24 in favor, one opposed and one abstention.
The holiday has proved a focus for an array of alcohol abuse prevention efforts on campus in the past. For St. Patrick’s day last year, Ann Arbor police officers worked with University staff to form an alcohol prevention team.
Also during Tuesday’s meeting, guest speaker Steve Mangan, director of Michigan Dining, spoke to CSG on current dining hall initiatives and other measures aiming to increase student health before the body voted on the resolution.
Mangan emphasized the importance of the Michigan Dining system, noting key goals include increasing the availability of local produce, renovating neglected dining halls — particularly Bursley Dining Hall — and creating cheaper catering for student organizations.
“We are able to not only move this food program forward for (students), but have an instrumental role in developing a lot of careers that work in our industry, (and) provide jobs for (students and their) peers,” he told the Assembly.
Mangan said Michigan Dining also plans to initiate nutritional workshops and wellness initiatives to teach and encourage students how to cook and eat healthily even if they no longer have a meal plan.
CSG also discussed a resolution the body will vote on next Tuesday that would recommend the Starboard Group and League administrators keep Wendy’s in the Michigan League Wendy’s or ensure student input is considered when choosing what replaces it.
Currently, the Starboard Group and League administrators have the ability to remove the Wendy’s located in the basement of the building. Last summer, the company and administrators shut down Taco Bell without the approval from students and prior notice to students.