For a student like Matt Rivara ’04, who habitually sleeps until after 1:00 p.m. on weekends, news that residential college dining halls are now open until 1:30 p.m. for brunch comes as a welcome surprise.
“It’s going to be nice to have that extra half-hour,” Rivara said.
As a result of student feedback in advisory meetings last year, Yale University Dining Services made the decision to alter the hours college dining halls serve meals for 2001-2002 — lengthening hours of operation for some meals and shortening them for others.
Residential college dining halls and Commons are now serving breakfast until 11:00 a.m. instead of 10:00 a.m., but Ezra Stiles and Calhoun colleges now close for dinner at 7:15 p.m. instead of 8 p.m. And weekend brunch hours in residential colleges are now 30 minutes longer — ending at 1:30 p.m. rather than 1:00 p.m.
“We were hearing from students that for those who sleep late on the weekends, the 1 o’clock closing time wasn’t working,” Dining Services director David Davidson said.
Another consideration was that students who attend religious services Sundays were finding it difficult to get to the dining hall in time to eat.
Dining services also extended lunch hours for the other days of the week from 1:00 to 1:30 p.m. for purposes of uniformity and simplicity.
Many students were unaware of the new hours, but those who knew about them had positive reactions.
“I sleep in every Saturday, usually past one, so having that extra half-hour is perfect,” Omar Kiggundu ’04 said.
Dining service officials hope the new Commons breakfast hours will make it possible for students who want to eat a late breakfast to also have lunch. Under the old breakfast schedule, students who came into Commons after 10:00 a.m. would swipe during the time zone designated for lunch and then find themselves unable to swipe in to eat lunch later, Davidson said.
Athletes may have to look for alternatives to their habitual dinner venues in light of the reduction in hours of operation in Stiles and Calhoun. Last year, these two colleges were open until 8:00 p.m. for dinner, whereas other residential colleges closed at 7:00 p.m. Because of low swipe-in counts between 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. at Calhoun and Stiles last year, the two colleges are now only open until 7:15 p.m.
Some athletes said they were not concerned about the earlier closings because they often eat dinner at Commons anyway.
“The lacrosse team did usually go to Commons,” said Beth Lambert ’04, “but it was also nice to have the option of going to Stiles or Calhoun if you wanted to.”
Scott Bender ’04, a member of the men’s heavyweight crew team, does not see the change as being a problem in his teammates’ routine.
“We always eat at Commons after practice anyway, so the change won’t really have an effect on us,” Bender said.
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