For BC Students, the Nights End with Chicken Fingers

Late Night Employee

If you are a Boston College student that is hungry past 8 p.m., there is one place to go—Late Night. Hosted in both McElroy and Corcoran Dining Halls from 8:30 to 12:00 Sunday-Thursday, and later on weekend nights, the central food hubs for the late-night eaters on campus offer more than the coveted chicken fingers and mozzarella sticks.

Late Night has been open for over 35 years as a safe alternative for students at night.

“It started as an initiative between Student Affairs and Dining Services so the students would have a place to go on campus at night,” Derrick Cripps, general manager of Corcoran Commons, said. “The great thing about BC’s Late Night program, unlike most of the schools in the area, ours is all on the mandatory dining plan.”

While mozzarella sticks and chicken fingers are the most popular items on the menu, there is a push for healthier options to be added to the late-night fare. But due to health laws, items like salad and fruit bars cannot be kept open so late. By law, these fresh foods need to be discarded after a certain amount of time, and since a minority of students are taking these options, it doesn’t make sense to keep them running.

McElroy and Corcoran are run under different management teams, but they are both trying to implement healthier options.

“We are working on some ideas in conjunction with our Test Kitchen initiative,” Cripps said. “This program was to help test new items in the different dining halls across campus to see how it is received.”

One of these dinner items is the Holy Grain, a cooked-to-order dish that offers four types of grains (wheat berries, red quinoa, barley, and bulgur) and four different proteins (tofu, chicken, beef, and shrimp) that received positive reviews.

“We have tried from time to time, resoundingly it keeps coming back to chicken fingers and mozzarella sticks,” Michael Forcier, general manager of McElroy Commons, said. “By far nothing comes close. We offer grilled chicken at Late Night at McElroy because we feel that it is one option that they can always have.”

Late Night isn’t going to offer everything that every student wants, so students need to look at the options that are available, and if they aren’t happy, reach out to the dining staff with their ideas. They want to hear student feedback and are willing to try new options that make sense for the dining program.

“A dietician intern is working right now,” Forcier said. “She has been interviewing and talking to students right now. A lot of times people don’t realize what we do have. We are going to try and take the items that we do have in the grab and go cooler and put them in the existing salad bar so they are more visible.”

Featured Image by Julia Hopkins / Heights Editor