As of May 1, Hutchinson Commons, otherwise known as Hutch, will be open from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Saturdays, in exchange for meal swipes. UChicago Dining sent the email out to all the students, and this new change will affect the students and faculty for the better.

Why Is It A Big Deal?

tea, beer, coffee
Sunny Liu

Previously, the University of Chicago's Hutch Commons was food court that accepted Maroon Dollars, but most food there couldn't be exchanged with meal swipes.  So every time I was there, I would only see older students who usually weren't on the meal plan.  This means that those on the meal plan don't really get to experience the food Hutch offers.

As a student on the meal plan, it also seemed stupid to pay for the food using my own money when I was already required to pay for the Unlimited Meal Plan.  My rationale: I already spend so much money to attend this school, why do I have to spend more for food that should already be covered?

How It Affects Students and Faculty

coffee, tea, bread
Sunny Liu

Now that Hutch is exclusively "free" for those on the meal plan on Saturday afternoons, students and faculty members can experience benefits that they didn't have before.

For one, students can get a meal for free on Saturdays, especially since all the other dining halls are closed during that time. Now, students won't be forced to buy an outside meal if they don't have the money or time to do it.

People can also taste what Hutch food is like and hopefully will have more meal options after they try out a meal on Saturday.  And most importantly, people on the meal plan can actually take more out of the plan they bought since it now includes more options.


This change is new and only a pilot program, but UChicago Dining should definitely make it a permanent tradition. I don't think there are any disadvantages that a free meal option brings to anyone on the meal plan. So, if you're on the meal plan, consider going to Hutch on your Saturday afternoons!