Flexibility has become the name of the game as colleges across the country press on with fall semester amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Read on for a look at how schools have adjusted in this ever-changing situation.
Temple University in Philadelphia has closed down its largest dining hall after 60% of residential students left campus following a COVID-19 outbreak that prompted the university to transition its classes online, reports local news outlet Billy Penn. While other Temple dining concepts remain open, not enough students stayed on campus to justify keeping Johnson & Hardwick cafeteria up and running, a spokesperson told the website.
At Indiana University, where only takeout is being offered this semester, students now have the option to eat in one of six outdoor tents across campus. The tents, which are aimed to shield students from slipping temperatures and increased rainfall, will be available until classes go virtual after Thanksgiving break, and again in the spring semester.
Students at the University of Wisconsin in Madison can consult a new dashboard that alerts them to the percentage of available seats being utilized in the dining halls. Dine-in service at the university returned on Sept. 25 after shifting to takeout only following an uptick in COVID-19 cases. Seat availability is updated in real time.
Reduced capacity, expanded hours
Towards the end of September, the University of Illinois resumed dine-in operations, though at a limited capacity of 25%. Tables in the dining halls are arranged to be 6 feet apart, and hours of operation have been widened to limit the number of students inside at once, reports the Daily Illini. As time goes on and more flexibility is introduced, students can expect greater menu variety, Carrie Anderson, administrative executive chef for residential dining, told the media outlet.