10 o’clock Ross Launches

By Emma Dunlap

Monday, Oct. 26 launched the first official “10 o’clock Ross,” one of the first major platform goals implemented this year under the leadership of SGA President Ilana Gratch ’16. Ross dining hall will be open every Monday through Thursday night from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. for continental food.

“[10 o’clock] Ross is about so much more than just late night food in the dining hall,” Gratch said. “It’s about sending a message that we, as a student body, can take a break from the agenda-driven nature of our lives at Middlebury.”

The program will continue for the rest of the semester. The SGA and administration will re-evaluate the program over the winter break.

Gratch began planning for 10 o’clock Ross at the beginning of last spring when she first decided to run for SGA president. The idea became a part of her platform, and she quickly began to meet with administrators that she knew she would need to work with in order to make the plan a reality.

Gratch worked with dining services and most closely with Executive Director of Food Service Operations Dan Detora to figure out the logistics of a 10 p.m. dining option.

“[Detora] seemed so willing to work with students from the get-go that I knew we had a chance of accomplishing this goal,” Gratch said.

“In Dining [Services] we are always trying to improve our services, and this was an important student request that made a lot of sense,” Detora said. “It was an easy way to fill a need for the student body.”

Gratch and Detora developed a checklist for student monitors and worked with Public Safety to figure out the logistics of opening and closing Ross late at night. The overall costs of having the dining hall open for an extra four hours per week include student monitor payments, maintenance salaries and the cost of extra food. Meetings between the SGA and dining services continued into the fall until the program was implemented this past week.
In terms of 10 o’clock Ross’s continuation, Detora said, “I think we will have a late night option for students, but we will need to review cost and other factors.”

According to Gratch, she and others involved in the program’s operations are still deciding how many student monitors are needed and what type of food students most want. “Ensuring that students remain respectful and thoughtful with our usage of the space will be essential in determining what 10 o’clock Ross will look like moving forward,” Gratch said.

During her campaign, Gratch talked to students about the potential for a 10 p.m. dining option to get a sense of whether this was something the student body would be interested in. The positive responses she received motivated Gratch and the SGA to make it an option for students this semester.

“We may even find that the moments we remember most looking back on college are those spontaneous nights spent with friends,” Gratch said. “10 o’clock Ross is simply an avenue, a space, for that concept. What students do with it, only time will tell.” Gratch said.

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