In an attempt to clarify students’ questions and concerns about recent changes in service, Yale Dining has posted a list of answers to frequently asked questions on its website.
Neither Yale Dining Executive Director Rafi Taherian nor Residential Dining Director Regenia Phillips responded to requests for comment for this article. But after a News article last Monday reported several changes to Yale Dining this year, including a new salad bar in some colleges and a later start time for weekend brunches, and students and administrators contacted Yale Dining with concerns, dining administrators attempted to explain some of the confusion on their website.
The information sheet confirms that the lunch swipe period in Commons now ends at 2:30 p.m., up from 4:59 p.m. last year. Students had previously reported being confused when they attempted to swipe at Commons for lunch after 2:30 p.m. and later found that their dinner swipes had been used. (Yale Dining’s website had listed the new lunch hour at Commons, but no announcement of the change was communicated to students otherwise.)
Yale College Dean Mary Miller said in an e-mail that she has expressed her concerns to Yale Dining about students who are unable to eat lunch before 2:30 p.m. She added that she has been assured by Yale Dining that these students will be accommodated, but she said she is unsure what exactly these accommodations will entail.
Yale Dining’s FAQ document says Dining has made “technical adjustments to [its] system” to deal with students who must eat lunch later than 2:30 p.m. but does not specify what those adjustments entail.
According to the document, Yale Dining has not permanently changed the hours of weekend brunch in the dining halls, which will still operate from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. as before. Although the Dining website last week listed that brunch would begin at 11:30 a.m., the FAQ states that the brunch hours for the weekend of Sept. 4-5 were only changed to accommodate the Fall Festival event. (The event took place on a Sunday, but dining halls opened at 11:30 a.m. on that Saturday as well.)
The final sections of the document addresses students’ concerns with the new salad bar option currently being piloted in Commons and five residential colleges, which replaces a make-your-own-salad bar with pre-made salads. Yale Dining wrote in its document that the salad bars in previous years had been “on average less than satisfactory” and that the move to pre-made salads was an attempt to improve student experience.
Some students disagree: A Facebook event titled “I would like a salad bar please!” had 637 members as of Sunday night. Maddie Oliver ’13, who created the event, sent all members a message Saturday afternoon encouraging them to send their thoughts on the salad bar changes to Yale Dining using Yale Dining’s online feedback form. Some vegetarians, for example, have expressed disappointment that they cannot eat prepared salads containing meat.
Meanwhile, Silliman College Master Judith Krauss, on behalf of Yale Dining, sent all Silliman students an e-mail Sept. 9 with a link to a survey asking students’ opinions of the new salad bar choices in Silliman.
Yale Dining acknowledged they might not please everyone.
“We know that it will be very challenging and an unrealistic expectation that everyone will enjoy every single choice,” the document reads.
The new salads are currently offered in Commons, Morse, Berkeley, Jonathan Edwards, Silliman, and Timothy Dwight.