Boost app closes on the weekends to focus on dining hall events

Written By Cassandra Harris, News Editor

In an email sent by Campus Announcements on March 31 it was stated that the Boost Mobile ordering app would be closing on the weekends so that they could do “a few more exciting things” in the dining hall.

Mady Thetard is a sophomore theater arts major and resident educator (RE) because of theater rehearsal, her schedule can look like anything on the weekends. She relies on the Boost app to get food whenever she needs it, whereas the dining hall only provides students with three-hour windows to eat.

“I’m an [Resident Education] so I don’t have to pay for food, which is really nice,” Thetard said, “But now, if I can’t eat in those three-hour windows, then I have to go out, spend my own money to eat and I’m not here for that.” 

There’s not “a ton of time” to eat when she has to rely on the dining hall for food. 

“I really can have rehearsals like at any point during the day, we typically, for bigger shows, only get a two-hour break to eat during the weekends,” Thetard said. “If there’s a break from 4:00 to 6:00, I only have one hour from 5:00 to 6:00 to eat in the dining hall.”

Outside of encouraging togetherness in the dining hall, Thetard thinks that there might be ulterior reasons as to why the Boost app is closing on weekends. She’s noticed that the cafe allegedly uses the track team to cook for students.

“I feel like they are kind of understaffed, I mean, they have been using the track team to make all this stuff in the point café.” Thetard said. “Even though they’re getting paid, that’s not really the track team’s purpose, not to cook food for all of us.”

She doesn’t think that encouraging togetherness has anything to do with the Boost app closing on the weekends. She thinks that it could be a funding issue or the fact that they just hired a new chef for the Resident Dining Facilities (RDF). 

On April 11 they hosted a “Stop Food Waste Day” featuring their new executive chef Todd Weiss and Interim President Chris Brussalis.

“Chef Todd plans to host a few cool themed days,” the email said. “As well as we will be doing various activities such as karaoke, movie night, pajama party and so much more.” 

The new executive chef may be positively influencing the quality of the dining hall food.

“I mean I went with my friends yesterday and it was very busy in there,” freshman animation major Malakai James said. “The food was actually really good, and Chris Brussalis was in there saying how much he likes the dining hall.”

James agrees that the lack of mealtime flexibility on the weekends is going to negatively affect many students and their ability to purchase food with flex or meal swipes, although going to the dining hall isn’t all bad.

“I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing for the fact that we have to go to the dining hall on the weekends,” James said. “Because one of the big things they want you to do with Point Park is to get involved, and I think that’s probably the easiest way to unite people.” 

At the time of the interview James was eating food they ordered from the Boost app.

“A lot of the reasons why a lot of people just don’t go to the dining halls is because the food’s not that exciting or the grill shuts down,” James said. “And then there’s only one station open or the pizza’s cold so nobody wants to eat it.”

According to the campus announcements email, the Point Café market will remain open on the weekends from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. so students can still spend the rest of their flex dollars before they disappear in the summer and fall.

“Any unused flex dollars will not be reimbursed,” the email said. “We will have a lot of fun items to purchase in the Point Café over the next month so make sure you stop by.”

For more information on menu items and events in the dining hall, students can follow Culinart on instagram at culinartppu.