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Fireside Café has been faithfully serving breakfast, lunch and dinner to Castleton students for years. But this year, some changes have been made to the meal exchange program that students aren’t happy with. The biggest change is meal exchanges are no longer allowed on weekends anymore, a time when students want to use it most. “It’s kind of a bummer because you save up all week long to use them on the weekend and now, you can’t, you have to use points,” said junior Dillon Danyew. The daily times that exchanges can be used has also changed. Before, exchanges were in effect from open to close daily. Now they are only valid from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Fridays. That means no more breakfast and late night dinner. “I’m not a big fan of the time change at Fireside,” said sophomore Matt Conger, “I get out of classes at 6:50 p.m. and there’s not enough time to go there for dinner anymore.” So why the change? “The meal exchange was set up in response to the low number of seats in Huden Dining Hall before we remodeled,” said Jeff Kurto, the general manager of Sodexo dining services. “Originally we had 250 seats in and over 1,100 students on the meal plan. Currently we have 450 seats in the dining hall and under 1,000 students on the meal plan.” The idea before was to displace some of the business from Huden to Fireside in order to manage the cluster of students all trying to eat packed together in Huden, he said. In recent years, however, Fireside has become more of a second dining hall than its intended role of a café, he said. Kurto and members of the Sodexo staff are working together to turn Fireside into more of an express service with pizza, sandwiches and some grilled items. In the past couple years alone, Fireside has downgraded their menu drastically. You used to be able to order the monstrous Spartan Burger and a side of French fries or go for the popcorn chicken with a serving size so large you could hardly finish it all. But those days are over. “The equipment that we have there could not handle the volume that we were seeing,” Kurto said. “We did not have the option to get new equipment so we had to make some adjustments to the menu. That’s why you’ll see less fried items.” Although these changes are leaving some students frustrated, Kurto and the Sodexo staff are continuing to make changes to make students happy. “Every semester we take the opportunity to evaluate our services and make improvements. Improvements based on service, speed, variety, that sort of thing,” Kurto said. And based on recent feedback, they will likely bring back omelet service during the week. He urged students to continue writing on the comment cards in Huden and also recommended that any student trying to make some changes in the dining hall should consider joining the food committee that meets once a month to discuss possible changes.