Yale Dining has implemented a number of changes this fall in an effort to make meal service more efficient, and students looking to grab a meal on campus this week have already taken notice.
Students interviewed had mixed reactions to Yale Dining’s decisions to open a new café on Science Hill, scrap custom college dishware and close Commons for dinner service. Now that residential colleges serve dinner until 7:30 p.m. on weeknights, with Calhoun, Morse and Ezra Stiles dining halls staying open until 8 p.m., Director of Residential Dining Regenia Philips said that Yale Dining will keep tabs of how the residential colleges adjust to the new hours this semester.
“We think every night will be as crowded as Sunday night family night,” she said.
Dining halls had only been open for two days, but several students eating in Morse dining hall Wednesday night said they had already noticed that food was running out during evening meal service. Meghan Murray ’14 said she was frustrated by how crowded the hall was after 7 p.m., when she and her women’s lacrosse teammates swiped in for dinner.
“As an athlete, it’s annoying not to be able to go somewhere where you can sit together as a team,” she said, adding that she was forced to eat her portion of chicken with a spoon because Morse experienced a shortage of forks during dinner service.
In addition to a new schedule, students are also adjusting to a new set of china dishes that replace the customized college sets. According to Yale Dining Executive Director Rafi Taherian, the new plates will be more efficient and cost effective since the college is able to order them in bulk, and should discourage tray use since they are bigger and can hold more food.
He also said their uniform design will discourage students from stealing dishware.
Saybrugian Rose Wang ’14 said she already misses her college’s old set of plates.
“I preferred the old dining hall plates because they represented Yale and its traditions better,” she said, adding that the new plates are cumbersome.
But for students looking to dine on Science Hill, Yale Dining’s new café in Kline Biology Tower, which opens today, may make life easier.
Taherian said that when the School of Management dining facility closed in 2010, many students on Science Hill turned to food trucks and vendors for lunch. The new café, which accepts student meal transfers the same way Durfee’s does, will also feature coffee roasted on site.
Taherian said he expects the coffee to be one of the café’s biggest draws for students and staff alike.
“This will probably become one of the most exciting culinary places in New Haven,” Taherian said.
But Glorili Alejandro ’13 said that she wished Yale Dining had opened a full-service dining hall in lieu of the café. While she said the new facility was much needed, she said she often craved a hot lunch, and not just a sandwich or salad, during her afternoons working on Science Hill.
Still, Sarah Marx ’14, a biomedical engineering major, said the new KBT Café will help her find time to eat in her busy schedule.
“I think it’s a great idea,” she said. “[W]hen I only have 30 minutes between classes on Science Hill, I don’t have to starve.”
The KBT Café will be open from 8:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. on weekdays.