In college, time is very precious and limited. When we as students are involved in multiple organizations, clubs, sports, on campus activities/events, paid positions and etc. our schedules fill up fast. Making time to workout at the gym or even find time to eat becomes difficult.

Colorado Mesa University students have been vocal about extending both the hours at the gym in the Maverick Center and the dining hall, or as most know it, “the caf,” in the University Center. This spring semester the gym has been available for use Monday – Friday 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday/Sunday 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Students have found themselves in a pickle as they may not finish with work until after 10 p.m., or may be rehearsing in Moss Performing Arts Center up until the gym’s closing hour. Many feel the need to exercise each day, but do not have the opportunity to because of the availability hours.  

There are gyms open 24 hours a day in Grand Junction – but those memberships can come at a high price. Although the university could most likely not offer this service to students, many students have posed the thought of extending gym hours until midnight or possibly even a bit later.

“10 o’clock is late, but I don’t get off work until nine, so I don’t have that much time to delay if I want to go workout,” CMU freshman Trevor Gunnels said.

Students have shown frustration towards the dining hall hours as well. This school year, the cafeteria has been open to the entire campus and those with meal plan A from 6:45 a.m to 8 p.m. (Monday-Friday) and 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. for Saturday/Sunday brunch and dinner.

There are three main timing complaints I have heard from students that rely on the caf for each meal. The first is that breakfast should open earlier on the weekend. If students wake up early, it is often difficult to wait until 10:30 for their first meal of the day.

Another complaint is that there should be a set lunch time on the weekends (rather than brunch).

A third complaint is that the caf should remain open later than 8 p.m. on a daily basis.

“I think that closing from 1:30 to 5 p.m. on the weekends is fair because the employees need a break too, but during the week I wish the caf was open until 9 or 9:30 p.m. because if I have an 8:30 p.m. night class, I won’t get food afterwards,” CMU freshman Shaddron Carter said.

The Flat Top Grill, Rowdy’s and Chick Fil A have been great solutions to students’ hunger after the dining hall hours. These places give students an option for late night meals up to four hours passed the dining hall’s closure.

However, what I have personally found frustrating about these food services is that they offer mostly greasy, fried and unhealthy food. Your typical meal at the Flat Top Grill (which counts toward meal transfers) is a burger with French fries or chips and a soda.

“Even if we can’t extend the caf hours, we should extend the hours of the food in the library because it’s actually really good food,” Carter said. “Plus, for those of us that go to the library later, then we have more available options.”

Food in the library counts toward meal transfers as well.

Gunnels agreed with Carter. “I usual don’t go to the library until after the food closes in there,” Gunnels said. “It would be nice if they stayed open as late as the library stays open during the week, which is midnight.”

Though CMU offers many dining options and an impressive workout facility, students are finding that they could get more out of these offerings if times were extended or altered. Hopefully, the campus will see changes to these times in the future.


  1. The rec was originally open until midnight, but after 2 semesters of not having enough students using the facility, the Director changed the closing time. Plus, students also run the Rec, and and then too would have to stay later to close the building. It was hard closing at midnight and not leaving until 1230am.


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