Dining Services restricts 2 swipes

Students planning on trading their breakfast and lunch meal credits for copious amounts of Snapple, candy, and cereal at the Yale Law School may have to exercise frugality or make a stop at Shaw’s Supermarket instead.

In a clarification of its previous policy, Yale Dining Services will no longer allow students to swipe twice at its retail dining facilities — Donaldson Commons at the Yale School of Management, the Yale Law School dining hall and the cafes in the Kline Biology Tower and the Yale Divinity School — Dining Services Director David Davidson said Monday. The clarification follows a February policy change which allows students to eat two meals at any time before 5 p.m. Students will still be able to swipe twice before dinner at all residential college dining halls and Commons, the only venues in which the policy was intended to apply, Davidson said.

Though a section on dining services’ Web site states, “Your board plan does not limit the number of meals per week you may transfer to a retail facility,” Davidson said yesterday that this section should have been changed when dining services instituted the double swipe policy in February.

“The purpose of the meal plan is for students to be able to sit down and eat a meal,” Davidson said. “[Yale’s retail facilities are] not a supermarket where you can go in and pick things up to go.”

Davidson said dining services has known about the a la carte double-swiping situation for the last two weeks and began reinforcing the clarification of its policy last week.

Davidson said the purpose of allowing double swiping was to make things more convenient for students, because it permits those who missed breakfast to eat after the traditional breakfast period without sacrificing their lunch.

“Double swiping was allowed only for the sake of flexibility and timing,” Davidson said.

Students can still spend the price of one meal on their choice of items, Davidson said, but they will not be able to transfer more than one pre-dinner meal to retail facilities each day. Students will also not be able to eat an early lunch at a residential college dining hall or Commons and then swipe a second time at a retail dining facility. For example, a student could not swipe at Commons at noon and then go to the Law School at 1 p.m.

Davidson said Yale’s meal plan is based on students eating an average of 14 or 15 meals a week, with the cost rising to “astronomical” levels if students ate all 21 meals week. He said the double-swiping policy has encouraged some students to eat a greater number of meals per week.

Yale Law School Dining Hall assistant manager Greg Kader said he did not anticipate the policy restatement to significantly affect business. He said the majority of the students at lunch are law students and about half of the dinner patrons are undergraduates.

“We’ll still probably see almost as many [undergraduates],” Kader said.

Kader said the restrictions may actually benefit the law school’s dining hall. Before, he said, it was difficult to manage undergraduate transfers because some students could transfer two meals and those who had already swiped once that day could transfer only one. Now everyone can only transfer one meal, he said.

A student swipes his card at the School of Management. From now on, students will not be able to exchange second swipes for 'grocery shopping' at retail dining facilities, including the SOM and Law School dining halls.
Yusef Syed
A student swipes his card at the School of Management. From now on, students will not be able to exchange second swipes for 'grocery shopping' at retail dining facilities, including the SOM and Law School dining halls.

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