Sat. Feb 27th, 2021

The Blue & Gray Press

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Spring plan for indoor dining fails

3 min read

Despite a test run during the fall 2021, there will be no indoor dining during the spring 2021 semester. | umw.edu

by CAMERON DELEAN

Staff Writer

Indoor dining options will not be offered for UMW students during the spring semester. Students will experience a similar dining experience as the previous semester.

“Everything is still the same as far as restrictions,” said Christine Porter, UMW Dining Services liaison and meal plan manager. “Unfortunately there will be no indoor dining. We had high hopes to be able to open up for indoor dining but the conditions are not ready for that.”

An email was sent out Jan. 26 to the UMW community informing students of any new changes to dining hours and locations.

The memo highlighted accommodations have been made to ensure that students can safely and efficiently get food from the University Center to-go. Grubhub will remain an available option for students, allowing them to order and pay for their food ahead of time and go to pick it up without having to wait in line. 

Nick Onorato, a sophomore communication and digital studies major, took advantage of the Grubhub option.

“Personally last semester I was totally content with the situation,” he said. “One thing that made it work was Grubhub since I could order ahead and pick up from Vocellis or wherever and my order would be ready and fresh by the time I get there and I don’t have to wait in any lines.”

Students are also given the option to dine on Ball Circle, with tents and tables being set up. There are new adjustments in place this semester to keep students warm, with heaters around the area and two fire pits. 

“Sometimes I would take advantage of the outdoor seating if it was a nice day out and a good place to eat,” Onorato said. “My roommates and I are good friends so I did eat with friends and sometimes we ate with other teammates but we didn’t sit at the same table in order to maintain distance”

Preston Everitt, junior business major, also didn’t mind the changes made to dining. 

“I didn’t eat on Ball Circle, I just preferred to take my food back to my apartment since there was the option of take out at the UC, which I prefer more than before because you were only allowed to sit in before,” he said. “I would eat with friends but it was nice to have the option to just bring it back if I needed something quick, it was more accessible than last year.”

There are always some inevitable limitations due to the pandemic.

Both Onorato and Everitt noticed a difference in their options.

“All the food was still good, except the UC had less options than usual, but that’s probably because of the limited staff so I don’t blame them,” Onorato said.

“I’m pretty sure there were less options just because the Underground was taken out,” Everitt said.

However, while the restrictions have not been lifted, there are changes that have been made to give students an easier time getting food.

“One thing that will be a little different is that people will be able to “double back” and get food from different stations,” Porter said. “Another change is that you’ll be able to order from Grubhub the day of instead of the day before.”

The adjustments made to dining were based on feedback given by students from last semester.

“Some people were happy with how things went, some weren’t. We did try our best to work with people who had specific concerns. The new general manager, Chef David Schneider, has some great ideas and is excited about the plans he has for the Spring semester,” Porter said. “I think you’ll see more options and more ability to customize food. There will also be hot food and microwaveable dinners and lunches available in the Eagle’s Nest.”

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