Aug. 12: Dining update

Dear Students,

I write today to provide an important update about changes to the dining program for the fall semester.

As we all know, Commons is deeply important to the student experience. It functions well beyond a place where we simply eat together. It is a place where you gather with friends, hang out long after you’ve finished your meal, and have conversations that build and deepen over time.

To meet COVID public health standards while also allowing you to to dine and be in community with one another, we had re-engineered dining for the fall in Commons and the Gray Athletic Building (Gray Cage). 

However, we continue to encounter operational and evolving state regulatory challenges trying to implement this re-engineered dining program, and thus have reached the conclusion that implementing the program is not feasible. Instead, we find ourselves now having to do what so many peer institutions have already done: move completely to a Dash (grab-n-go) dining program. 

The Dash program will provide a varied selection of hot and cold to-go menu options, including vegan, gluten-free, and nut-free options. From Monday through Friday, students will still need to schedule their lunch pick-up time/location. For breakfast and dinner on Monday through Friday, and for all weekend meals, students will have the flexibility to Dash without scheduling a pick-up time.

Students may pick up their Dash meals at the following days, times, and locations:

Monday through Friday

Breakfast: Commons
No scheduled time required for this Dash pickup
7–10:30am

Lunch: Gray and Commons
Students must schedule time and location for this Dash pickup

  • 11am–11:45am
  • Noon–12:45pm
  • 1pm–1:45pm
  • 2pm–2:45pm

Bobcat Break: Commons
No scheduled time required for Dash pickup
2:45-4:30pm
(Salad, sandwiches, beverages, pizza for those in-between and after-meal times.)

Dinner: Commons and Gray
No scheduled time required for Dash pickup
4:30–8:15pm

Bobcat Break: Commons
No scheduled time required for Dash pickup
8:15pm–9:30pm
(Salad, sandwiches, beverages, pizza for those in-between and after-meal times.)

Saturday and Sunday

Commons
No scheduled time required for Dash pickup
8:30am–9:30pm: Continuous dining

Students may eat their Dash meal in the following areas:

  • Outside, weather permitting and with physically distancing
  • Residence hall lounges, with physically distancing
  • Residence hall room

As we move to this new dining program, it is critical that students only eat in these spaces so that we can ensure appropriate levels of sanitation and trash removal. 

If you have questions about dining, please contact Jenny Graves at jgraves2@bates.edu.

I know that the Commons experience will not be what we would all like it to be in the fall, and there may well be additional changes along the way. I wanted to send you this update as soon as possible, however, as I know many of you continue to make your decision about the fall semester or your decision, already made, may be influenced by this update.

As a reminder, those of you that are changing your plans from on-campus to remote learning should notify Faith Hauger at studentaffairs@bates.edu as soon as possible.

All my best,

Christine Schwartz
Assistant Vice President for Dining, Conferences and Campus Events