New Express store policies have created student and employee apprehension.
The Eastside and Lakeside Express stores are now closed Fridays and Saturdays, which requires students to cash out dining points Thursday. Last semester, students could use their meal points though the week in the dining halls and use leftover points at Express stores after later hours and during weekends.
Peggy Connors, associate director of University Housing, said her department didn’t intend for the hour changes to cause issues.
“It was a matter of being financially responsible,” she said. “Fridays and Saturdays were the least busy. In the end we are still a business, and finances need to be taken into account.”
Connors said changes were also made as a safety precaution. Eastside and Lakeside Express stores now require a valid university student identification card for entrance, she said.
“We have had some theft issues,” Connors said. “There were people coming in who didn’t even attend school here. Our goal is to keep everyone safe.”
Express store Staff members said they have been negatively affected since the hours changed.
Blake Mangalavite, a Grinnell employee and sophomore from Rochester studying health care management, said student employee hours have been cut almost in half because student availability is highest during hours the shops are now closed.
“It’s difficult going from 12-15 hours to about six hours a week,” Mangalavite said. “Usually, it’s very easy to work around schedules, but it has been harder lately.”
Jennifer Palmer, a Grinnell staff member and a junior from Westfield, Ind., studying psychology, said her hours have been cut from 12 a week to about five and a half.
“I have been working here for a year and a half, and my hours were still cut,” Palmer said.
Some students say they are having trouble adjusting to the new Thursday cash out, since many are still in class by the time the shops close.
Kashari Pierce, a sophomore from Chicago studying biological sciences, said problems arise when students forget to cash out early.
“If students forget or don’t have time to cash out, that’s our money going down the drain,” she said.
Azariah Dwumaah, an undecided sophomore from Ghana, said it’s difficult to plan meals ahead of time.
“You never know when you’re going to be hungry, or when you’ll get a chance to eat,” she said.