Flex dollars can get you soup in a bread-bowl or a Coke and a slice. But falafel?
Yale College Council Representative Andrew Allison ’04 said the YCC has been researching ways to improve the meal plan to better accommodate students. It will post a survey on YaleStation.org with questions about Flex dollar locations, dining hall hours and dining during “Camp Yale,” to determine which aspects students most want to change, he said.
After determining what the students want and how these changes can be feasibly enacted, they will bring resolutions to the YCC, Allison said.
The YCC representatives are hoping to create some sort of short-term meal plan to offer to students during the “Camp Yale” period before classes start in the fall, Allison said. If students are interested, the YCC may also look into meal plans for Thanksgiving break, spring break and the Commencement period, he said.
“Back in September, I was thinking about stuff we could do with dining hall reform, and Camp Yale dining struck me as a huge issue,” Allison said. “People had trouble getting food and things like that in the first week of school, and we thought it would be really wonderful if the dining halls were open during this time.”
Allison said the committee is also looking into adding more Flex dollar locations. In the online survey, they will offer several choices, including the existing Flex locations — Durfee’s, Yorkside Pizza and Restaurant, Naples Pizza and Restaurant, and Au Bon Pain — and new locations — A1 Pizza on Broadway, Atticus Book Store-Cafe, Gourmet Heaven, Ivy Noodle, Mamoun’s Falafel Restaurant, and Whimsels.
Allison said the YCC is interested in Atticus because there are no current Flex locations on Chapel Street and Mamoun’s because it stays open late.
“We hope to spread the Flex locations around geographically,” Allison said. “We’ll also be approaching these restaurants and gauging their interest in the program.”
Dining Services Director David Davidson said that though Dining Services was interested in adding Ivy Noodle, it was impossible because of technological problems. Davidson also said Gourmet Heaven is not a possible Flex location.
“We currently run a convenience store, which is Durfee’s,” Davidson said. “Because of that, we would not add Gourmet Heaven.”
Allison said YCC representatives are also looking into a late-night dining option.
“We’re hoping to either open a couple of residential colleges or Commons in the late evening around midnight,” Allison said. He said that YCC has been in discussions with Davidson and Senior Director of Dining Services Bob Junghandel, but added that it is still unclear whether students could only eat a late-night meal if they missed a meal that day, or if a new meal plan would have to be created.
Allison said the cost would depend on whether the dining halls offered hot food, which would require more labor than simply serving bagels or cereal.
Davidson said he was going to look into the history of late-night dining at Yale.
“It used to be in the back of Commons called Lloyd’s where Swing Space is now,” Davidson said. “It was an a la carte cash program.”
Freshman Class Council and YCC Representative Elliott Mogul ’05 said the FCC performed an informal survey on their Web site earlier this year and got overwhelming response in favor late-night dining.
“Another thing that got really strong response was the merging of the breakfast and lunch period into one swiping period in which you could swipe twice at any time,” Mogul said.
Davidson said swiping twice between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. is a possibility, but noted that Dining Services extended the breakfast period to 11 a.m. and the lunch period to 1:30 p.m. in order to allow students more flexibility this year.
Allison emphasized that YCC’s resolutions will reflect student desires.
“We’re trying to utilize the polling services on YaleStation to see what the priorities are for students,” Allison said. “Some of these initiatives like late-night dining or two swipes can increase the price of the board plan at least a little bit, and we don’t want to drive up the cost before we see if this is what students really want.”