Preparations for Yale’s October 2 fundraising kickoff event have resulted in changes to the lunch service in the newly opened Commons Dining Room.
Zoe Berg, Photo Editor
Student dining routines were disrupted this week after preparations for a Yale fundraising kickoff event at the Schwarzman Center resulted in an adjustment in service at the Commons dining hall.
Commons is generally open for lunch between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, and offers students the option of choosing from four different stations. In a September 28 email to students, Yale Hospitality announced that the dining room inside Commons will be closed between Wednesday, September 29 and Friday, October 1. Although the initial email did not give a reason for the service changes. , a follow-up email explained that the shutdown was to “accommodate the setup of the Yale campaign launch,” which will take place on October 2.
“As in the years leading up to its renovation, Commons will remain a site for great academic traditions throughout the year, such as the Yale campaign launch which takes place this Saturday,” wrote Maurice Harris, director of marketing and communications. communications from the Schwarzman Center. in an email to News. “Temporary service changes are designed to accommodate the event setup while ensuring that students have on-campus meal options during Commons standard service hours. Standard service returns to the Commons on Monday, October 4. “
The first email from Yale Hospitality explained that two of Commons’ gas stations would be available for take-out on Wednesday and Thursday, but that Commons would be closed for all Friday. The email also said dining halls in Davenport, Grace Hopper and Trumbull College would see their lunch periods extended until 3 p.m. Thursday and Friday to make up for the closure of Commons.
But students said the policy resulted in longer queues at those colleges on days the Commons dining hall was closed.
“We weren’t expecting as much of a fallout for the Hopper Dining Room, but when we walked into the lunch we realized that closing Commons would affect us a lot more than we previously thought,” said Tre Flagg. ’24, a student of Grace Hopper. who eats there most days of the week.
Flagg said that in the Hopper Dining Room, which typically has little to no waiting time, the lunch line exited the kitchen and headed for the dining room door on Thursday.
The Yale Fundraising Campaign, a college-wide fundraising event, is launched by each Yale president once during their tenure and typically takes place every five to ten years. University President Peter Salovey’s campaign is scheduled to begin on October 2. The launch, which the university had previously announced would be held virtually, is expected to feature a series of events that will be recorded from the Schwarzman Center and broadcast to the public online.
“Schwarzman Commons was selected as the site for the launch event over a year ago, with the intention of hosting an event that included a live broadcast with in-person and virtual attendees,” said the ‘Yale Campaign Events Team to News in an email. . “While guests now attend virtually due to restrictions on large in-person gatherings, the stage and content will continue as planned and will be streamed from Commons. Registered attendees will see the setting online during the live broadcast.
Those who wish to attend the launch of the virtual campaign can register in advance in line.
While many students who generally attend Commons took advantage of overtime in residential college dining rooms, some still expressed confusion over the reasons for the shutdown.
“I had no idea why they were closing Commons, which a lot of people use and which is always very busy,” Lukas Trelease ’25 said.
Trelease typically dines at Commons on Monday and Wednesday afternoons, as his schedule prevents him from eating in residential college dining rooms on these days.
Although he was able to pick up his lunch at Commons on Wednesday, Trelease said it would have been “nicer, easier and simpler” to eat in the Commons dining room.
“I understand that this is a common space and they are planning to have other events in the future, but as Commons is only open for such a short time and is needed for many, maybe it would have been better if Yale held their private events at a more convenient time for students, ”Trelease said.
Mirabel Nguyen ’24 also said she usually visits Commons once or twice a week and noted that she planned to meet a friend there on Wednesday, but chose to postpone after learning that they could not. no dinner.
For Nguyen, this week’s take-out policy at Commons was an uncomfortable reminder of the take-out meals provided by dining rooms following last year’s COVID-19 restrictions.
“While I was not badly affected by the dining hall closure, the idea of taking out containers seemed to remind foodservice policies during COVID,” Nguyen wrote in an email to News. “Therefore, I decided to eat in the dining hall of my residential college instead. “
The Communes dining room will resume its regular catering service on Monday, October 4.