After several late and hungry nights last semester, Morgan Williams ’14 and Nicholas Ciborowski ’14 started devising a plan to establish a system that would make food available past midnight on campus.
“When it gets to be around one or two [in the morning], there really isn’t anywhere to get food because everything has closed hours ago,” Williams said. Both the options on campus and in the Swarthmore ville close at around midnight. He and Ciborowski agreed that because late night snackers are a large part of the demographic at Swarthmore, a late night food option would benefit many.
A student-run pizza place, a cookie delivery system and finally a cart with a basic selection of baked goods, coffee and snacks of the sort, were concepts that were tossed around. Having a Twitter to inform students of the whereabouts and contents of this cart on any given night was also an idea that came up as the two sophomores were brainstorming.
However, the regulations on student-run ventures and limits on entrepreneurship on campus coupled with an inability to get a response from both student committees and administration proved to be an obstacle in achieving any concrete solution to the problem many students face every night.
“I’m always awake until three or four in the morning getting work done … I think [having more late-night food options on campus] is a great idea,” Sudarshan Gopaladesikan ’14 said. A late night snacker, Gopaladesikan has also often wished that Swarthmore had a Wawa shuttle running after midnight at least a few days a week, using the existing Target and movie shuttle system. “They are open 24/7. It would be a good solution.”
Late night snacking has often been an object of debate, but according to Swarthmore Nutritionist Deborah Westerling, those against it may just be under the impression of common misconceptions.
“It’s actually better for you to eat a little bit before going to bed because when you rest your metabolism just naturally slows … The midnight snack helps your metabolism stabilize and stay normal at rest, rather than having it slow down and then have to jump-start in the morning,” Westerling said.
According to the school nutritionist, when studying, such a snack proves to be even more helpful to the body. “Your brain thrives and feeds off glucose, so it’s really helpful to make sure that you’re getting some sort of nutrition and hydration when you’re studying and want to keep a clearer mind in order to better focus … I think this project is a great idea” she said.
However, the quality of the snack is important. According to Westerling, the best option is a treat that will mix protein and carbohydrates, like cheese and crackers (preferably with fruit as well), or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. It is also important to have a moderate serving of any snack.
Although slowed down by unresponsiveness to the project, both Williams and Ciborowski are still interested in developing and ultimately establishing a late night food option on campus.
Anyone interested in joining their efforts should contact Williams at email@example.com.