The actual number of people who signed up for this year’s inaugural Camp Yale meal plan was not, as Dining Services Director David Davidson joked, three.
In reality, 11 people paid $65 each to be fed at Yale dining halls and local restaurants in the time after dormitories opened but before dining halls did. Despite the small number of students who signed up, Davidson said the plan will be offered again next year.
The plan, which ran from Aug. 28 to Sept. 2, gave undergraduates the opportunity to eat five of nine meals in Morse College, as well as spend $30 in Flex dollars at local restaurants. The Yale College Council initiated discussions with Davidson last spring about the possibility of having a Camp Yale meal plan.
“It came from a lot of complaints from last September’s Camp Yale when people found themselves really busy and wanted just an easy way to get meals, a more convenient way,” YCC President Andrew Allison ’04 said.
Allison spoke with Davidson over the summer about marketing the plan, and it was agreed that an e-mail would be sent to undergraduates and that information about the new initiative would also be available on the Dining Services Web page.
Davidson said he thought more students would have selected the plan if they could have signed up for it online. This year, students had to sign up at the Meal Plan Office on Church Street. Davidson also plans to advertise in the dining halls during the spring and do a postcard mailing during the summer.
“Now that we have it, we can market in the spring term. People don’t really think about it [during the summer],” Davidson said. “We’re just going to have to work with the YCC and market it a bit better. All the legwork is done.”
Sarah Heiman ’05 said she was in no hurry to return to the dining halls.
“I considered it and then I decided against it because I figured it’d be easier for me just to get stuff from Shaw’s or get stuff from local businesses, because I wasn’t ready to eat campus food again,” Heiman said. “I had enough free stuff coming my way with different organizations.”
Heather Thompson ’05, one of the 11 students who chose the plan, said she signed up because she thought she would save money by not going out to eat every night.
“I thought it was good except that some of the Flex machines weren’t turned on and it was sort of out of the way — you had to go out of the way to get food,” she said. “It was just a hassle.”