To adjust to Yale College’s new academic calendar, Yale Dining will now keep residential dining halls open over school recesses this year.

Students on a meal plan will be able to dine on campus at no additional cost during this year’s October break and for four days over Thanksgiving vacation. All residential colleges will remain open for two meals a day during fall break, while Pierson and Calhoun will each serve two meals a day during Thanksgiving. For the last five days of both the winter and spring breaks, Yale Dining will begin offering dinner in Morse and Stiles Colleges’ dining halls for $7 per meal.

Executive Director of Yale Dining Rafi Taherian said the extended dining hall schedule is intended to help students with affordable dining options if they do not return home over the holidays.

“The idea was to provide something else outside of the regular dining options,” Taherian said.

Because administrators added a five-day October break to the 2012-’13 academic calendar, Yale Dining officials decided to keep all residential college dining halls open for students who will stay on campus, said Cathy Van Dyke SOM ’86, the newly appointed director of residential dining. Keeping the dining halls open over the October break will not come at any additional cost the University, Van Dyke said, as dining hall workers must come into work anyway during that week. Student meal plans will automatically include the extra days because the new calendar did not eliminate any days from the fall semester, even though students will have fewer days of class with the new break.

Carl Sandberg ’14, president of the International Students Organization, said he knows many international students stay in New Haven over fall break because they live far away.

“For an international, sometimes it’s a 20-hour flight home, so its not really an option,” he said. “Especially for fall break, which is a five-day break, it’s not feasible.”

Sandberg said one of ISO’s main initiatives last year was working with Yale Dining to open the Pierson College dining hall over Thanksgiving. Because that initiative proved highly popular, Yale Dining added Calhoun College to the list of residential colleges staying open from Nov. 17 to Nov. 20, a portion of this year’s Thanksgiving break.

In addition to revamping fall break dining options, Yale Dining is extending a new option to students on campus for winter and spring breaks: the option to get dinner in Stiles and Morse Colleges’ dining halls for $7 apiece, cheaper than the standard dinner price of $13.25. The two dining halls have contracted with Yale Athletics in past years to stay open for athletes in preseason training for the last five days of each break but will now be open to all students.

Van Dyke said the $7 “pay as you go” initiative is designed for any students who might decide to come back early — not only international ones constrained by travel plans.

Yale College Council President John Gonzalez ’14 said the YCC submitted a list of dining proposals over the summer, which included keeping the dining halls open for fall break and suggested extending meal options over winter and spring break.

“The plan is not necessarily ideal, but it’s better than what we had before, so we’re happy,” he said.

Fall break will take place from Oct. 24 to Oct. 28.