Julia Nagel/ Sun Photography Editor

The North Star Dining Room, located in the Appel Commons, on Feb. 8, 2020. Students will now be able to enjoy meals until 9:30 p.m.

February 5, 2023

North Star Dining Introduces Extended Evening Hours

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Cornell’s North Campus residents no longer have to forgo dinner for nighttime studying or athletic training, thanks to North Star Dining’s new extended dining hours.

Beginning this semester, North Star Dining extended their operating hours by a half hour — the dining hall now closes at 9:30 p.m. Full service occurs from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., and the last hour is a “lite” dining service, which may have limited food offerings. This provides North Campus residents with a longer window for evening meals.

Appel Commons became the second multipurpose community center on North Campus following its construction in 2002. Its facilities include the North Star Dining Room, which is located on the second floor.

Toni Morrison Dining — North Campus’s other main dining hall — closes at 8:30 p.m. Risley Dining Room, located on the outskirts of North Campus with vegan and vegetarian options, is only open on weekdays until 7 p.m. These are the only locations on North Campus where first-year students can use their unlimited meal swipes.

All other North Campus food vendors, such as cafes, Bear Necessities and Louie’s Lunch, require the use of Big Red Bucks, a dollar-for-dollar, tax-free campus payment alternative. All first-year students are automatically given a dining plan that includes unlimited dining swipes and a limited fund of $400 a semester in BRBs.

Karen Brown, senior director of campus life marketing and communications, said that several students requested longer dining hours during the fall semester.

“The core population that seemed interested in [extended dining hours] was student-athletes, who often come back from evening team practices ready for a good meal,” Brown said.

Some students said the extended dining hours have made it easier to attend evening office hours while maintaining a healthy dining schedule.

“I think [the extended hours are] very helpful, because sometimes teachers have supplemental help that goes into the evening, and as a result, we miss normal dining hours,” Ethan Amoh ’26 said.

In the Architecture, Art and Planning school, students, often finding themselves working late hours with little time to eat, said they significantly benefit from the extra 30 minutes. Advika Sengupta ’26, an architecture major, said the dining hours extension allowed for more flexibility in her schedule.

“I like [the extended hours] because I am an architecture student,” Sengupta said. “I work late in the studio a lot due to the heavy workload. Therefore, Appel gives me more chances to be able to eat dinner rather than having to spend my BRBs.”

North Star’s hour change directly supports Cornell’s North Campus expansion goal for the school year. With the addition of 2,000 beds, North Campus dining facilities will be met with increasing student demand.

Cornell Dining also reaffirmed sustainability efforts, adjusted allergen accommodations, introduced a new Atrium Cafe and announced holiday events at the beginning of the semester.

Cornell Dining said they are happy to improve their dining experiences through these initiatives.

“Students’ schedules are just settling down at this point in the semester, so it’s too early to say there’s been a substantial shift in traffic,” said Brown. “But we’re glad to have been able to accommodate [students’ academic and athletic schedules].”

Correction, Feb. 7, 8:28 p.m.: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the North Star Dining Room is located on the third floor of Appel Commons. This article has been corrected to reflect the accurate location of the North Star Dining Room.

Isabela Wilson ’26 is a Sun contributor. She can be reached at [email protected].