Can the Graduate School advocate for more consistent and convenient access to food on campus?

Date: September 2021


Hi Deans,

Today, as I planned to work into the night, I took what I thought would be a short break to grab some food, around 6:30 p.m. Google Maps said Goldie’s was still open, so I ventured there and found them shuttered. Still hungry, of course, I went to the Cornell Dining website to get what I thought would be a more accurate list of places I could find food. I saw that Mann Café was open until 10:00 p.m. and begrudgingly set out across the quad to find my meal. But when I arrived, their lights were off and doors were locked. I resigned myself to a meal of stale chips from the vending machine and the hope that I could get some work done before my stomach forced me to go home. 

This isn’t the first time this kind of thing has happened, and I would appreciate if the Graduate School could proactively advocate for more consistent and convenient access to food on campus. I don’t see how the center of Cornell’s campus can have so little food available at such a normal hour for people to eat. 

Thank you so much for your help,

A very hungry grad student


Dear “A very hungry grad student”,

As someone who has been on campus for many nights and weekends I am sympathetic. I checked the Cornell dining website and see that Mann Café’s hours are now listed as 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. There are locations on campus that do offer later hours but those tend to be in the more heavily populated areas. Cornell Dining, like so many other food-service operations, is struggling to deal with staff vacancies, variable demand, and disruptions to supply. They have a feedback link on their website, so you can send comments to them directly.

Cornell Dining does have a range of meal plans that are tailored specifically for graduate and professional students. In addition to Cornell Dining, vending machines, and packing meals, you’ll find that food delivery is widely available on campus in evening hours. It’s especially handy when the weather is cold or rainy!

The Graduate School will continue to encourage Cornell Dining to factor in the needs of all students when setting hours for central campus dining locations.



Jason Kahabka
Associate Dean for Administration