By Sydney Roach
NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. — Nothing hits the spot for college students quite like a late-night meal. Many Westminster College students used to frequent the Titan Club, an evening dining spot on campus featuring fan-favorites such as wings, rice bowls, mozzarella sticks, quesadillas, and so much more. While students still come to hang out and grab a bite to eat, it just isn’t the same. That’s because it isn’t the Titan Club anymore. The Titan Club is now an extension of Duff — which is another dining location that is only available during strict breakfast, lunch, and dinner hours.
The Titan Club’s disappearance came as a surprise to many students who did not find out until late in the summer.
Junior Charlotte Shunk first heard the news while she was driving to campus for soccer pre-season.
“I live about 5 hours away, and about 3 hours into the drive, I was checking some text messages, not while I was driving, at that point, we had stopped, I was checking text messages, and a group chat from school, somebody said something about the Titan Club, and I was like ‘What’s happening with the Titan Club?’ and they said, ‘It’s closing,’ and that was how I first heard about it, and I was super upset and almost turned the car around.”
Junior Erica McNatt has a similar story.
“I found out the day before I moved in, and I was pretty upset. I was shocked more than anything, though, because anytime I went there was always a lot of people and it seemed like it got a lot of business and everyone loved it and everyone had their regular orders and it seemed like it was a staple in campus life.”
So why is the Titan Club closing if it was such a popular place on campus? To answer this question, I sat down to talk to the Vice President of Finance and Management Services Kenneth Romig.
“Over this past year, the college has taken a hard look at all of its operations and really trying to focus on ways that we can improve them for students and also ways that we can improve them to be more efficient hopefully and to save some money.”
Romig continued by saying that Westminster administrators and Sodexo noticed the declining total student population and decided that they could reduce the number of late-night dining venues to save on costs.
So what’s happening with the Titan Club space now? It’s mostly unchanged, but with a few additions. Some of the additions include a Starbucks self-serve machine, a cooler with juice, milk and other items and a station with chicken patties and fries every day.
However, these additions are only available during Duff’s dining hours, making the Tub the only option available for students outside of the set lunch and dinner hours.
The Tub now closes later in the night to fill the evening void left by the Titan Club. Not all students are happy with this change, however.
Sophomore Mason Flanigan thinks that the Tub’s longer hours is only a temporary fix to what can become a more significant problem.
“You can go to the Tub now until about 11, so it’s kinda making up for it, but it’s like you cut yourself on the arm and put a band-aid on it. Eventually, there’s gonna be a scar there. It’s not gonna heal up nice how it used to be.”
Flanigan worries that students will miss the tradition of going to the Titan Club at night, especially after athletic games on campus.
Students like Charlotte Shunk miss the variety of foods that the Titan Club offered, especially considering that she is a student-athlete with specific dietary needs.
“So, it’s just really hard when we are out there, on the fields, you know, doing rigorous work and we’re hungry,” said Shunk. “We need protein, we need something hearty to eat, and all of the options are gone or very minimized. So that’s been very difficult because the school, yes, they’ve allowed for one option to have longer hours, but they’re not accounting for any of the food that the people might actually need who are eating at those hours.”
McNatt is not a student-athlete, but she also has dietary restrictions that impact her ability to eat on campus.
“I eat on a pretty strict diet, and with the current options, my only food option is the salad bar, pretty much, and Titan Club offered wings and other dishes that I could eat, so now I’m very limited in my options and I don’t have the money to go out and just buy myself food for my room, so I’m kinda stuck right now eating salads for pretty much every meal, and it’s very frustrating for me.”
The situation isn’t entirely grim for students with dietary restrictions or a desire for more variety.
Sodexo’s General Manager Jeffrey Creveling says that certain items from the Titan Club will soon come to the Tub. Some of the confirmed items as of now are mozzarella sticks, rice bowls, and mac n’ cheese bites.
Students have multiple ways to voice any other ideas, concerns, and complaints about the dining services on campus. Creveling encourages all students on campus to discuss any ideas or concerns they may have with him.
Students can also contact Jace Armentrout, the Student Concerns chair at SGA, which also oversees the Food Advisory Committee or FACC. The committee meets once every two weeks in the old Titan Club building at 12:30. The meeting is open to all of campus, and it gives students the chance to voice their concerns and ideas for Sodexo on campus.