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The Gate will be closing during lunch hours starting in the upcoming fall semester following a recommendation to that effect in the Organizational Review Committee's Feb. 2 report.

According to the report, members of the committee — which was charged last spring with identifying $14 million in savings in the University budget for the next fiscal year — recommended this change after examining the student traffic throughout the University's various dining facilities and "looking at the overall program of Dining Services," said Richard Bova, senior associate dean of residential and dining services, who led the ORC team that made the recommendation.

The decision was made to have a "minimal impact on students," Bova said. He added that an important consideration was "not to disrupt late-night" eating. Students tend to attach more importance to late-night eating than they do on eating during the day, he said.

There are "200 folks who eat at the Gate during lunchtime," Bova said, while other dining facilities are used by many more students during these hours.

In addition to closing the Gate for lunch, the offerings at the Ivy Room will be reduced during lunch hours, Bova said. According to the report, the Ivy Room will only offer hot lunch and grab-and-go items starting in the fall semester.

But not all lunch facilities' operations are being reduced. In September 2010, a "new and expanded Blue Room" will be opening, Bova said. The Blue Room will have the "capacity to feed people faster and in greater number," he said, adding that it will be approximately twice the size of the current one with more seating throughout the Blue Room and Faunce House.

Overall, the changes at the Gate and Ivy Room will save the University about $100,000, Bova said. The change will "displace between eight and 13 Johnson and Wales University students" who are temporary employees at the Gate, accounting for most of the anticipated savings, he said.

Bova added that there will be a general "preservation of the workforce," and that there will be no layoffs for union workers who work during lunch hours. Employees will be "redistributed in the current system," he said, by bidding for where they want to be reassigned.

Union workers have been told that they will be reassigned within Dining Services, but they have not been informed of their hours or locations yet, BuDS worker Sarah Lewis '12 wrote in an e-mail to The Herald.

The Gate's three main workers are Dining Services employees who have worked there for 12, 15 and 18 years, she wrote. They are all union employees, and they expect to have significant input in their placements because of how long they have been working at Brown, she wrote.

Union employees are usually the only workers during lunch unless a student fills in as a substitute, which Lewis wrote that she has done multiple times.



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