Thanksgiving dining services may expand

Students staying in New Haven over Thanksgiving break may have residential college dining options available during their stay.

The Yale College Council and the International Student Organization have collaborated this fall to urge Yale Dining to keep one dining hall open during the break. Residential Dining Director Regenia Phillips said Yale Dining is still in the process of analyzing finances to find a feasible solution, though YCC Secretary Matt Williams ’13, who chairs YCC’s dining committee, said he expects Yale Dining to offer two meals per day Monday through Wednesday in one dining hall over the week-long fall recess. Williams and international students interviewed said the new options would particularly benefit students who live far from campus.

“Especially [during] Thanksgiving, [when] fewer students will return home because Christmas break is so soon, it’s a great way to help these students out,” Williams said.

The YCC began a similar initiative last year when Yale Dining opened one dining hall for dinner three days before the end of spring break, Williams said, but Yale Dining has never offered extra meals in residential colleges over Thanksgiving. Because this program was popular over spring break, he added, the YCC wanted to expand the initiative to a school recess when more students stay in New Haven.

The YCC hopes the dining hall meals will complement those already provided by the Office for International Students and Scholars — two separate dinners catered by New Haven eateries — and the Thanksgiving celebrations hosted by residential college masters, Williams said. He added that if the dining hall meals are popular this year, he hopes this policy could continue during future school recesses, including winter and spring breaks.

Director of the OISS Ann Kuhlman said between 140 and 150 students typically attend the OISS-hosted dinners.

Sikander Khan ’13, ISO president and a student from Pakistan who will be staying in New Haven for the majority of Thanksgiving break, said a dining hall would provide a setting for students to spend time together and combat the loneliness associated with long breaks.

“We’re going to try to use it as an extension and a gathering opportunity,” he said.

He added that the dining hall serves as a low-cost meal option relative to restaurants in New Haven.

Carl Sandberg ’14, a student from Sweden who attended an OISS dinner last year, said he thinks offering meals at a dining hall would attract many students, given the popularity of the OISS dinners. Though the OISS meals do not exclude students who live in the United States, Sandberg said, they are advertised mostly toward international students. He said non-international students staying on campus might feel more comfortable eating at a residential college instead.

Sandberg added that he would definitely use the dining hall himself if it provided services for a few days over break.

“This is my home in the States now,” he said. “When I’m not visiting someone, I am here, so of course I’d want to be in the dining halls.”

Fall recess lasts from Saturday, Nov. 19 to Sunday, Nov. 27.

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