Hash browns: a uniting factor for UW-Eau Claire students

Students join together to bring back beloved on-campus breakfast spot, The Skillet, through a petition

Taylor Reisdorf

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March 25, 2020

Tres Habaneros, the Mexican food spot that replaced The Skillet this past summer

About a week ago, Jonathon Butz, a junior political science and legal studies student and student senator at UW-Eau Claire, created a petition voicing his dismay regarding the removal and replacement of The Skillet, an all-day breakfast spot in Davies Student Center.

Although the petition is less than two weeks old, it already has over 500 of the 1,000 desired signatures. Students have started joining together to bring back their beloved breakfast spot, which was removed this past summer.

Overall, Butz said he has received plenty of “fun, positive” feedback regarding the petition.

“A lot of people didn’t even know it was gone,” Butz said. However, Butz said upon realizing its removal, many students were outwardly upset.

Cassie Oberg, a sophomore at Eau Claire, said she can vouch for this disappointment. While she doesn’t have a meal plan this year, she recalls making frequent stops at The Skillet when she did have one. Additionally, she has friends with meal plans and they are upset The Skillet has been taken away.

“Freshmen are missing out,” Oberg said. “There’s no real breakfast option.”

Butz said the idea to start the petition came to him after he tried the replacement breakfast offerings at the Blu Flame Grill in Davies. He said he was disappointed overall.

The Blu Flame Grill only serves breakfast until 10 a.m., rather than all day like The Skillet. The new food also lacks in quality in comparison to The Skillet, Butz said, especially because he no longer has a way of getting his hash brown fix.

Butz said he has yet to hear anything from Blugold Dining. However, he attached their email to the petition and is hoping to eventually get not only their attention, but potentially the attention of Sodexo, the food supplier for Davies. He intends for the fight to bring back The Skillet to continue to grow.

“Obviously it’s not going to happen just like that, because the remodel took months,” Butz said. “Change takes time.”

The Skillet was removed due to lack of profit, according to Butz, and was replaced with a Mexican food vendor called Tres Habaneros. He said the reasoning for the removal confused him, because he considers breakfast food to be “relatively inexpensive” to make, and he remembered The Skillet always being busy.

Ultimately, Butz is hoping for a conversion back to The Skillet.

However, there’s a bigger message Butz is hoping to send through the creation of this petition.

While the cause is small and somewhat “ridiculous,” Butz said he hopes the petition will be a sort of escape from the bad in the world and a message to campus about the importance of listening to student opinions.

“With all the crap going on in the world it’s kind of nice to advocate for something that’s a little ridiculous but still nice,” Butz said. “Also, just a note to Blugold dining and campus as a whole: Don’t make decisions without consulting your students. Your students are your main audience.”

Additionally, Butz said he hopes the petition can act as motivation for other students to create the changes they desire, no matter how big or small those changes may be.

If you’d like to sign the petition, you can do so at change.org.