Turnstiles keep food costs down


Mary Ellen Greenburg

Though the dining centers are closed, here is an example of the turnstiles in the Thomas dining center.

Mary Ellen Greenburg, Staff Reporter

There are things on campus that often go unseen, like the flowers, the bushes or the little squirrels that steal food from unsuspecting students.

However, students might have a harder time stealing food because of the turnstiles that go unnoticed in the dining centers and food court.

The turnstiles have been in the dining halls for more than fifteen years. They were put in the dining centers to control access to the centers and to help keep food costs low.

Mark Hudson, Eastern’s housing and dining director, said before the turnstiles, students were allowed to cut through dining halls in the winter.

This privilege was revoked, Hudson said, because students were abusing it.

Some students would cut through the dining centers to avoid the cold and decide to get some food on their way through without using a meal swipe on their panthercard.

Doing this drove up the food costs and the dining fees for other students, Hudson said.

Upkeep for the turnstiles is minimal, financially and physically.

Every couple of years they may have to replace a cogwheel or reset a spindle to make them one-way again.

Last summer the university decided to add the stanchion, or a two-post rope barrier, to the dining centers.

Chris Wojtysiak, unit director for the Thomas dining center, said the addition of the stanchion allows for students in wheelchairs or on crutches for example, to leave the centers through the stanchion instead of the turnstiles making it easier for them to access the dining centers as well.

This has allowed dining staff to direct the flow of traffic better and make sure students do not go through without paying for their meals.

Mary Ellen Greenburg can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].