The Yale College Council has found that the dining halls are becoming increasingly crowded as the undergraduate population grows, according to a report released on Sunday night. The report also concluded that the University should shift dining hall hours to better accommodate student preferences.
The YCC decided to investigate the topic after a fall 2016 survey revealed that many students are dissatisfied with dining hall hours and the flexibility of using Durfee’s swipes. The dining report was one of nine reports published by the YCC on Sunday.
“Especially with the closing of Commons and the expansion of the student body, this seemed like an ideal time to review the current structure for dining hall hours and to suggest potential changes,” said Trey Kinison ’20, one of the three student leaders of the project. “I saw this as an opportunity to serve the student body in a practical and significant way and so chose to join the team focusing on this topic.”
The other eight reports covered topics like the availability of resources for undergraduates interested in law school, shopping period reform and the campus shuttle system.
The report’s data comes from a YCC survey distributed to all students last fall. Of the more than 1,200 respondents, 86 percent said they would sometimes use a Durfee’s dinner swipe and 41.2 percent said their preferred eating time was 7:00 p.m. or later — even though 12 of the 14 college dining halls close at 7:30 p.m.
Because students do not have the option to eat dinner in most of the dining halls after 7:30 p.m., the report concludes, more students are eating off campus and at less preferable times. The report also notes that students living off campus are almost three times more likely to eat dinner at or past 7 p.m.
The report’s recommendations include starting brunch at 10:30 a.m. rather than 11:00 a.m., offering late lunch hours at Benjamin Franklin or Pauli Murray, adding a Durfee’s dinner swipe option and shifting at least one college’s weekend dinner hours to 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Heidi Dong ’20, YCC University Services director, told the News that the Council is making plans to meet with Yale Dining administrators to discuss implementing the changes. Yale Dining did not respond to a request for comment on the YCC report.
This is not the first time the YCC has called for expanded dining hours. In 2016, the council released a report calling for more late-night meal options.
Student reactions to this year’s YCC report ranged from support to apprehension.
Jack Fresquez ’21 expressed doubt about the recommended extension of dining hall hours.
“If the dining hall hours were to be extended, that may be an inconvenience to the dining hall workers,” he said.
Others acknowledged that the report’s suggested changes would improve the dining experience on campus, but said that more still needs to be done.
“I think that you should be able to swipe at Durfee’s at any point in the day and that dining halls should be open much later for lunch and dinner,” Saphia Suarez ’21 said. “We should have more Durfee’s swipes within the meal plan, so that you can buy snacks as well as meals.”
The YCC plans to release six other reports this semester based on research conducted last fall.
Aakshi Chaba | firstname.lastname@example.org