For many athletes, finding the time to eat during the day is a huge challenge. Coaches run long practices in all sports and, after practices are over, large amounts of homework prevent student athletes from having a meal for dinner. Many students would have to run to Winnick, grab a to-go tray, and rush back to their rooms to get their work done. Some would go to Hillwood and grab a quick Subway sandwich but won’t have time to enjoy it. Many times, athletes have class right after practice and must grab a quick energy bar from the Little Shop of Commons in Hillwood and make that their dinner. It’s a struggle, but athletes have dealt with it.
Recently however, it has come to the attention of members of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee, that students have voiced their concerns about not being able to eat a meal for dinner. SAAC is a student organization that helps to make the college experience better for student athletes, while also doing community service.
The Pratt Center has a concession stand that is always open for football and basketball games, but not on a regular basis. SAAC thought that this would be a great way for student athletes to eat a decent meal before going back to class after practice, and do so without rushing. SAAC member Sarah Kiser, who is also a senior pitcher on the C.W. Post softball team, explained that opening the concession stand regularly was a priority. “As you know, athletes are constantly in the Pratt, and we’re pretty much always running from practice to class and back. A lot of student athletes began complaining about the lack of time to eat, especially with coaches making use of common hour practices.” Kiser explained that since the concession stand was already used during the course of the year, it would not be hard to open it on a regular basis. “Since there was already a concession stand with food storage equipment in it from football and basketball games, we thought it would be very easy to get it open on regular days as well.”
With the idea now out there, the members of SAAC needed to talk to someone to make this happen. “We basically just had to talk to Aramark and faculty members of the Pratt to see if it was possible. Once we got the go ahead, Aramark pretty much handled everything else, which made life easier,” Kiser explained. “Coach Meg (Girls lax) really helped us with everything this year, and she’s a big reason the café is open now.”
Now that the concession stand could be open regularly, the question was what to offer for students to eat. “SAAC members are partly responsible for what is being served there now” Kiser said. “We took the aspects we like from each café around campus, and wanted to put it all into one. If it’s successful this year, we are hoping to get a juice/smoothie bar type thing there next year.” At the Pratt Center café, students can get salads, sandwiches, and other healthy choices. According to Kiser, the stand seems to be doing very well, and SAAC hopes that the success of the stand continues for a long time.