William Porayouw, Contributing Photographer

Schwarzman Center eateries have been closed in preparation for a belated “recognition event” this weekend to commemorate the center’s opening.

Last week, the Schwarzman Center announced that dining services in the Center would be closed “in preparation for University events.” Although the specific nature of these events was not announced to the student body, Schwarzman Center Director of Marketing and Communications Maurice Harris told the News that the space has been reserved to hold an opening event for the Center, “long-delayed” by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

University President Peter Salovey, who told the News that he would be in attendance at the Schwarzman Center event, remarked that he was enthusiastic about the celebration.

“The event will give us an opportunity to reflect on what the Schwarzman Center has already done for the university,” Salovey wrote in an email to the News.

The Center was originally closed for renovations in 2017 after billionaire donor Stephen Schwarzman ’69 provided the University with a $150 million gift, announced in May 2015. While the Center was originally slated to open in fall 2020, social distancing guidelines due to the pandemic delayed its opening to fall 2021. In the meantime, the Center celebrated a “soft opening” with the release of a website prototype and virtual programming.

Salovey wrote that over the past year, the Center has helped reestablish a “sense of community” as Yale emerged from the “worst” of the pandemic.

“[T]his year, in its first full in-person season, the center will help Yale students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members build new traditions rooted in openness and inclusivity, enjoy enriching and lively discussions, learn and appreciate the arts, and discover new ways to connect with one another,” Salovey wrote.

Now, as the University prepares for an in-person opening event, an email sent to Yale students noted that dining options at Commons, Elm & The Bow Wow would be closed from this Wednesday to Friday. The Center also announced that the building entryways would remain closed, preventing students from entering the building at all. 

Some students believe that the University should have been more transparent about the announcement.

“I think it’s important for students to know what is happening on their campus, regardless of it directly impacting them or not,” Braiya Nolan ’25 said. “We should be able to know even if it’s just a simple thing like this.”

Nolan told the News that since she has lab until 3:30 pm, she usually goes to the Bow-Wow, which usually closes at 4 pm. However, since the Bow-Wow was closed, she was unable to take lunch with a University dining option. While several dining halls were open for extended hours this week, they all closed by 3 pm.

“I think they should have been more transparent in their emails and why they were closing down,” Aranyo Ray ’25 told the News.

Ray said that closing dining options at the Center was “inconvenient” because of his class schedule.  He also noted that he preferred food portions and nutritional value at Commons than at the residential dining halls.

According to the email to students, standard service will return to Commons, Elm and The Bow Wow on Monday, Nov. 7.

The Schwarzman Center reopened its doors in 2021.

William Porayouw covered Woodbridge Hall for the News and previously reported on international strategy at Yale. Originally from Redlands, California, he is an economics and global affairs major in Davenport College.