June 30th, 2009 | Uncategorized

No more lunch for undergrads at the Law School

Updated 9:57 p.m. In a stunning, heartbreaking and utterly tragic announcement for those who need their daily chicken avocado wrap, Yale Dining Services announced today that undergraduates on University meal plans will no longer be allowed to swipe at the Law School Dining Hall beginning this fall.

In an e-mail message to students, the executive director of dining services, Rafi Taherian, also announced several other changes, including improved buttery menus and the opening of a new “healthy, natural and sustainable convenience store.” In addition, Flex Points — renamed “Dining Points” — can now only be used on campus and not at Wall Street Pizza or Yorkside Pizza & Restaurant, where they previously had been accepted.

“Some of these changes, which come as a direct result of the financial challenges the university is facing, will have an impact in the way your meal plan is structured and we feel it’s important to keep you in the loop throughout this process,” Taherian wrote.

The Law School, for its part, says it did not seek to have undergraduates booted from its dining hall. “This is a decision that was made by Dining Services,” said Janet Conroy, a spokeswoman for the Law School. “We have nothing to do with the decision.”

The move comes two years after Yale Dining Services prohibited students from “double swiping” — skipping breakfast and then swiping twice at lunch, once for a meal and once for groceries — at the Law School and other retail dining facilities.

The double swiping episode demonstrates why Dining Services might want to ban undergraduates from the Law School altogether. Because the dining hall there is run by the Law School and not by Dining Services, several hundred thousand dollars per year in student meal credits were going to supplement the Law School dining program instead of Yale College’s as a result of widespread double swiping, administrators explained at the time.

“We felt that was a lot of money out of the board program,” said Ernst Huff, the associate vice president for student financial and administrative services.

That same logic applies here. By keeping those swipes in its own facilities, Dining Services won’t be giving up revenue  — an attractive prospect in a time of shrinking budgets.

Taherian’s full e-mail is after the jump. We’re trying to get more information from Dining Services and will report back when we do. In the meantime, take a deep breath. We’re going to get through this.

Dear Students,

We hope your summer break is proving to be both fun and relaxing.

Back on campus, we are working on a couple of changes and initiatives for the upcoming academic year.  Some of these changes, which come as a direct result of the financial challenges the university is facing, will have an impact in the way your meal plan is structured and we feel it’s important to keep you in the loop throughout this process.  Listed below, are a few of the changes you’ll notice upon your return.

Dining Points

  • Dining Points may only be used in select on-campus dining venues.  Places such as: The Law School Dining Hall, Wall Street Pizza, and Yorkside Pizza & Restaurant will no longer accept Dining Points (formally known as Flex Points).
  • Dining Points will continue to be accepted at seven (7) retail facilities on campus – Durfee’s, the Divinity Refectory, the Lobby at KBT, Donaldson Commons at SOM, Marigolds at YSM, Thain Family Café, the Blue Dog Café at the McDougal Center and, opening in September 2009, uncommon, the new healthy, natural and sustainable convenience store!
  • Dining Points may still be used to buy guest meals at any residential dining hall.
  • Meal Transfers

    • Yale Dining meal plan holders may choose to transfer a lunch into the Divinity Refectory, the Lobby at KBT, Donaldson Commons at SOM, and Marigolds at YSM provided it is the first swipe of the lunch meal period.  The option to transfer meal privileges to the Law School Dining Hall is no longer available.
    • Eli Bucks

      • Eli Bucks may no longer be used at Wall Street Pizza and Yorkside Pizza & Restaurant.
      • Eli Bucks continue to be valid at the Law School Dining Hall and all other on-campus dining locations.
      • Meal Plan Enhancements:

        • Grand Opening of uncommon, the new healthy, natural and sustainable convenience store.
        • Expansion of the “STIR” Asian concept at Commons, to offer additional authentic options from other Asian cultures.
        • Greater menu options in late night college butteries with student support from Yale Dining.
        • New and innovative menu features in the Yale College Dining Halls that spark the palette and provide a healthier balance.  Sustainable and local food improvements will continue.
        • Introduction of monthly theme meals in all residential dining halls that are fun and help break the routine.  Other special events in conjunction with YCC are scheduled.
        • New and improved D.I.S.H. (Dining Information, Student Happenings) and W.I.N. (Wellness, Information, Nutrition) programs.
        • Should you have any questions or comments please contact us at yale.dining@yale.edu.

          We look forward to welcoming you and our new students this fall!

          Rafi Taherian

          Executive Director

          Yale Dining

(Photo: Blair Benham-Pyle/Staff Photographer)