If the Shippensburg University administration has its way, “the finer diner” may not exist for much longer.
Rumors that all or part of Kriner Hall may close — at least as a dining hall — have been circling for months now, and university officials have done nothing to put a stop to the questions of those who work and eat there.
These rumors proved to have at least some merit after The Slate staff discovered a January 2019 SU-funded study suggesting ways that Kriner’s main dining area could be turned into computer lab space.
It seems clear that this space would be used almost exclusively by the School of Engineering students, based on the fact that there’s a “School of Engineering” footer at the bottom of each page and two of the school’s faculty are listed as members of the project’s design team.
I loved eating at Kriner when I was just starting college and living in McCune Hall. I don’t really eat there anymore unless I am craving Papa John’s or a sub, simply because the hike to Kriner for fewer options than Reisner hardly seems worth it.
But there’s a lot to like. The small building has a lot of history tied to the campus and brings back good memories of my early college years.
If the administration wants to close Kriner, that’s its prerogative. With higher education funding as low as it is, cuts need to be made when logical. What I have a problem with is who this project would be helping, and the way that the administration has handled the possible change with students.
While I have no doubt that science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) jobs are important, I don’t see the need for the School of Engineering to take common student space and turn it into something that solely benefits them.
From where I am, there seems to be alternative options to shutting down Kriner dining and leaving us with essentially one dining hall on campus. Kriner could be expanded to make way for more food options, or even made into a 24/7 dining hall like Kutztown University has.
If the dining area is to be shut down, fine — but make the space into something that everyone can use.
The other concerning fact is that the administration has made no effort to get student feedback on possibly shutting down the dining hall. Considering that many of us have meal plans and live on campus, why wouldn’t a survey be sent out to determine the possible impact?
I said this before regarding vandalization of S.A.F.E.’s office door, and I’ll say it again — the lack of transparency in this administration over simple facts prevents each one of us on this campus from feeling as if we are a part of one community, contradictory to what President Laurie Carter has said.
The administration needs to start owning up to its actions and make us all feel a part of a decision-making process that will have the biggest impact on the people who are paying for them to work here in the first place.