By Nick DiIorio and Ben Dorau
Special to The Denisonian

As the Huffman dining hall undergoes much needed renovations and with rumors swirling about the dissolution of the Sodexo monopoly on campus food service, little attention is being attributed to independent, late night food options for students.

Since the consecutive disbandment of Taco Bell and Pizza Hut in the Slayter Union, a vacuum has presented itself in the market for desirable venues for a late night snack, to which the Bandersnatch is the only remaining solution.

However, the University’s recent (although limited) arrangement with the Mikey’s Late Night Slice pizza truck, located between the East and Academic Quads between 2:00-7:00 pm, presents a bright opportunity for the future of on-campus dining.

As many students’ frustrations have demonstrated, the incompetence and inefficiency of the Bandersnatch has outgrown its usefulness as an affordable destination for students seeking a post-dinner snack. While there is no doubt in terms of the Bandersnatch’s value as a venue for entertainment, studying, and socializing, its performance as a food service establishment borders on unacceptable.

At the Bandersnatch, a historic Denison institution, students are routinely forced to wait for 45 minutes to an hour on simple orders of bagels and milkshakes. If these were the operating procedures of any other private commercial eatery, such as River Road or Whit’s, the availability of other food options would cause consumers to forego the absurd waiting period and satiate themselves elsewhere.

While the Bandersnatch’s proximity to East Quad partially explains why Denison residents and revelers put up with its inefficiencies, the heart of the issue lies in the lack of competition.

The stifling of competition in the market for late night food on campus cannot go unnoticed, and some alternative should be swiftly presented. Fortunately, Mikey’s Late Night Slice presents such an alternative.

If Mikey’s was available not only during daytime hours but also at night, the Bandersnatch would be forced to shape up and provide better and faster service to its willing consumers or face financial failure.

In an area of university life as important as food service, competition should be encouraged and fostered, not only to satisfy students’ desires, but to keep the fiscal benefits of consumption circulating throughout the Denison community of students, employees, affiliates, and off-campus establishments.

So in the name of capitalism, Denison pride or just simple hunger, support Late Night Slice by buying pizza during the day on Tuesdays and Thursdays – and perhaps it will become a permanent institution on this campus.