My Munch March

A public opinion class protested the Atlantic Dining Hall’s hours.

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My Munch March

Rich Haughton (right) leads the protest toward the Atlantic Dining Hall. Brendan Feeney | Sports Editor

Rich Haughton (right) leads the protest toward the Atlantic Dining Hall. Brendan Feeney | Sports Editor

Rich Haughton (right) leads the protest toward the Atlantic Dining Hall. Brendan Feeney | Sports Editor

Rich Haughton (right) leads the protest toward the Atlantic Dining Hall. Brendan Feeney | Sports Editor

Brendan Feeney, Sports Editor

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I never thought I would be organizing a protest on campus until my fellow public opinion classmates and I received the unorthodox, yet interesting assignment.

While still getting used to the thought of organizing a protest, some interesting ideas came about, including a campaign against man buns.

Florida Atlantic Public Opinion and Modernity instructor Glenn Singer said, “It could be a real stodgy class, we could sit here and read textbooks and articles all the time, but I wanted to give the students some first hand experience at different kinds of expressing themselves and one of them is the protest.”

After about 15-30 minutes of pitching ideas, we settled on the “Munch March,” a protest that would center around what is arguably the easiest thing to complain about at FAU — the Atlantic Dining Hall, as the University Press has demonstrated twice, both here and here. We carried out the protest on Tuesday, April 5. 

“This all started as a group project, so we thought why not make it a topic that is a big problem on campus,” said Rich Haughton, a senior majoring in communication. “A lot of students get out of class late, 10 p.m., and they’re left in the dark when it comes to getting food … their meal plan is the meals they have available to them so that shouldn’t be on a timer.”

From Monday through Thursday, the caf, as the dining hall is more informally known, stops serving dinner at 7:30 p.m. and offers “limited service” — hamburgers, chicken patties, french fries, pizza, salad and sandwiches until 10 p.m. Despite college students typically staying up later during the weekend, the Atlantic Dining Hall closes at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Our demands were to extend dinner hours to 9 p.m. and push back the limited service to 2 a.m.

Roles and responsibilities were shared among the class. Protest posters and a Facebook page were created, a megaphone and candy were brought in and one student informed the campus police department.

The majority of the students in the class wore red for the protest — a suggestion a classmate made so that we would appear more unified. Since the class started at 7:10 p.m., we gathered in our classroom before starting the march to the caf, which began in front of the social science building around 7:30 p.m.

By the time we reached the dining hall, several other students had joined the protest and plenty outside of the caf had joined in our “it’s never too late to grab a plate” and “2 a.m., 2 a.m.” chants. FAU police were present, but no further action was taken.

We took the protest to the underclassmen open barbeque pit before marching around the dining hall, past the library and finishing up in the Breezeway, outside of our classroom.

“There’s quite a number of people, as we saw during our march today, who agreed with the emphasis of this protest,” Singer said. “So even though what we did is certainly not earth shattering as far as importance, it did make an impact in the campus.”

Brendan Feeney is the sports editor of the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @feeney42.