Campus Life

Waffle House Replaces Saieh Hall for Economics


By Breck Radulovic
March 26, 2017

University of Chicago President Robert Zimmer announced the opening of Waffle House, a 24-hour diner chain, at 5757 S. University Ave. at a press conference on Thursday. The building is the former home of the Economics department at the University.

Citing wide-spread campus support for a convenient, inexpensive, all-hours food venue, Zimmer justified the decision to renovate Saieh. “After the latest Campus Climate Survey, we found that 98% of the student body felt positively toward the opening of a campus Waffle House, yet only 56% expressed positive sentimentregard for the Economics program. Thus, the difficult decision was made to remove the Econ department from Saieh Hall.”

Archie Holloway, recently hired as a manager at Waffle House, anticipated the dining locale becoming an integral part of UChicago’s campus culture. “Because we are a 24/7 joint, we hope to provide quiet corners in our restaurant for soft, late-night crying accompanied by mediocre coffee and smothered hash browns.”

Zimmer noted that the University’s history of Economic excellence would still be honored in the building, colloquially known as “Moneychurch” due to its hallmark cathedral style. Milton Friedman’s Nobel Prize for Economics is framed and displayed in the Waffle House’s single-user restroom.

Third-year James Leeman spoke to the Shady Dealer as he ordered his inaugural plate waffles in the new dining establishment. “As a Math Spec Econ major, I was pretty devastated when I heard that Saieh would be closing – a. Almost as devastated as I was when Clarke’s closed for good. WBut when I heard a new all-night diner would be opening right in the heart of campus, I totally changed my mind.”

Graduate student Annie Nielson was pleased by the new Waffle House because of its employment opportunities. “Because of the delay with the Grad Student Union, I’ve been struggling to pay bills. Waiting tables at Waffle House for $10.30 an hour is the opportunity I’ve been looking for!”

Zimmer expressed hope that the Econ department would continue to evolve in its former home. “In a changing 21st century, we must come to terms with the fact that a theory-based economics program is not what students are looking for anymore. To compete with thriving econ and finance departments at our peer institutions, UChicago Econ must change as well. Therefore, we hope to transition the Econ major to be based entirely in Waffle House food service. A quarter-long stint as a fry cook will teach students much more than Econ 198 ever could.”

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