Kenny Tindal, Staff Writer

Some weekends I have to catch myself while searching for food on campus. I forget that I can’t go to Taco Bell, Burrito Del Ray or many of the other dining options because they are closed for the weekend.

This is something that has confused me ever since I moved on campus as a freshman a year and a half ago.
During the weekdays I was always impressed by the variety and sheer volume of different restaurants and dining facilities, but I was never sure why they closed on the weekend.

This weekly closing of restaurants still gets me down. Anytime people visit me at George Mason University, usually on the weekend, I have to explain the weekend dining situation.

I normally say something like, “Oh, well on weekdays we have tons of food to choose from, just not now.”
It took me a year to build up the nerves to go and ask Denise Ammaccapane, resident district manager of Sodexo, the company Mason has hired to run the schools dining facilities, why no one seems to like us lowly weekend diners. She set me straight, sort of.

As anyone who has even seen this campus on the weekend, the campus is dead compared to the flowing crowds of students seen during the weekdays.

For example, on some weekdays it is impossible to find a seat in the Johnson Center, but it’s relatively deserted on the weekend.

Well, fewer people means less food sales, and that means Sodexo cannot afford to keep every restaurant open.

Each restaurant requires a certain amount of labor to fully function, and some take more labor than others.

Taco Bell, takes more people to function than Burger King, which can work fine with just one person behind the counter.

Also, students eat at Southside more this year than the previous year, and while this certainly has to do with required freshmen Block or Traditional meal plans, it also affects what is open on the weekends.

If more people are eating at Southside and not something like Burger King, there is less reason to open up more places for students to eat because of the threat of diminished sales.

Apart from the fact that I want to eat Chick-fil-A on the weekends, there are other reasons to open at least some of the closed restaurants on the weekends.

If people tour our campus and see all of the places that are closed, that may be a reason why they do not apply – something we obviously don’t want to have happen.

There are ways to start opening up the school on weekends.

First, I think we should open up Freedom funds to freshmen students, the way it used to be.

The reason freshmen are required to have Block or Traditional meal plans is because University Services believes it will give students an incentive to eat together and bond, to basically form a group of friends that stay with you for the rest of your college career.

If freshmen students were allowed to have Freedom, it would not prevent them from bonding, but would allow them to more easily bond in other places.

Like at the Rathskeller watching Sunday’s games, or browsing the stacks at the convenience store.

Most importantly, if students had more reason to eat, outside of Southside, more restaurants may open up on weekends.

Contacting Student Government is a great way for students to help open more restaurants on weekends, along with any other problems you want solved on campus.

Just go to and get in touch with them.

They do have the power to affect the school in this way. They helped make Starbucks stay open 24 hours; they can make Taco Bell open on weekends.