Updates & Common Dining Questions For Fall 2020
We thank you for your patience as we continue to evolve and make changes with updates from the University and State of Connecticut regarding guidelines and safety protocols. Updates will be continually posted to this webpage.
Any information with a strike thru indicates that the information is no longer relevant or has since changed.
10/7/20 - Belden Hall residents can return to eating at non-quarantine dining halls (Northwest, Putnam, McMahon, South).
10/5/20 - Due to the upcoming cooler weather and lack of use, the seating at the tents behind North Campus and on Founder's Green will no longer be available.
9/30/20 - Eddy Hall residents can return to eating at non-quarantine dining halls.
9/29/20 - Effective Friday, October, 2, North Dining Hall will transition to quarantine-only. Review details here.
9/25/20 - Until further notice, students in Belden Hall will need to pick up their meals at Buckley.
9/22/20 - Gelfenbien Commons (Towers) will be opening their grab and go window for to-go meals beginning Wednesday, September 23rd, 2020. Review details here.
9/19/20 - Until further notice, students in Eddy Hall will need to pick up their meals at Buckley.
9/16/20 - Please review details here regarding an update on closures and hours adjustment with some of our retail locations.
9/16/20 - Effective 9/16/20 at 7am, Putnam Dining Hall will return to normal operations and is open to all students that have a meal plan.
8/27/20 - Effective 8/28/20 Putnam Dining Hall will only be open to students in Garrigus residence hall which is under medical quarantine. While Putnam is being utilized for Garrigus residents, meals will be to-go only.
8/26/20 - Effective 8/26/20 students from hot spot states no longer have to eat at Buckley and are welcome to eat at any of the open dining units.
8/26/20 - The dining tents were originally expected to open August 31st however this has been delayed until Tuesday, Sept 1. Tents will have a staggered opening beginning Tuesday, Sept 1. as tables and chairs arrive at each location and are set up throughout the day. We expect all tents to be ready by dinner on Tuesday. Tent hours will be 7am-9pm weekdays, 10:30am-8:30pm weekends.
8/26/20 - Labor Day (Mon., Sept 7th) Hours: Dining Halls will operate on their normal hours; Retail locations that will be open include the Market Cafe (10am-9pm) and Union Street Market Food Court (11am-9pm); Bookworms cafe will also be closed on Sunday, Sept. 6th.
8/26/20 - Retail locations begin their Fall semester hours on August 31st; All locations will be open, including our newest retail operation Mango (formerly Freshens in the Rece Center).
8/23/20 - Changes at North Dining Hall - Beginning Monday, August 24th students from hotspot/travel advisory states that were previously dining at North Dining Hall will now need to get all their to-go meals at Buckley Dining Hall. Students identified by the University through contact tracing will also need to get all their meals at Buckley. Buckley will be to-go meals for the entire semester. North will open for all other students on August 24th.
8/17/20 - Dining changes for Fall 2020 - View the video
8/14/20 - Students will not be able to swipe in another UConn student into the dining halls until after the quarantine period (starting August 31st) and only if that student has been tested.
8/11/20 - If you are a student that has been impacted by the August 11th decision by the university regarding out-of-state students who are enrolled in only online courses, please note that your meal plan will automatically be canceled within 5-7 business days and no further action is needed.
8/10/20 - Food Truck & UC Cafes will be opening August 17th (Beanery, Wilburs, Up & Atom, Chem; Bookworms will open Aug 31st)
8/10/20 -From August 14th-30th North Dining Hall will only be accessible to students that have to self-quarantine from hotspot states. Beginning August 31st, North will be accessible to all students with a dining plan.
Q: What are you doing to address the wait times in the dining halls?
A: We are expecting lines to be present all year, but when classes start we expect students will have varied schedules which will help with peak meal times. Even in a "normal" semester, we see lines for the first two weeks. Everyone tends to eat at very standard times for a few weeks. Starting 8/24/20 we opened another dining hall (North) for service and this has the potential to help.
Once the quarantine ends and students are able to move around with a little more freedom they won't all eat at the dining hall closest to their dorm. Our retail operations will have expanded hours of operation beginning on August 31st which also will help with providing additional locations to dine at (these locations accept points and the UC Cafes also accept flex passes*). We expect the wait time to improve. This has definitely been a style of service we are not accustomed to offering but we are constantly evaluating ways to make it better.
*See more details w/in these FAQs regarding points and flex passes or visit our Meal Plan FAQ page.
Q: Can I go to the dining halls while waiting for my test results?
A: Yes. Takeout meals begin Friday, August 14th in South, Northwest, Putnam* and McMahon. However, if you are from a travel advisory/hotspot state you are to only get your takeout meals from North Dining Hall during the quarantine period. Beginning August 31st, North will be accessible to all students with a dining plan.
*Effective 8/28/20 Putnam Dining Hall will only be open to students in Garrigus residence hall which is under medical quarantine.
Q: Can I swipe in a friend during the quarantine period or Fall semester?
A: During quarantine, prior to the start of the Fall semester, you will not be able to swipe in anyone. For the Fall semester, the only people you will be able to swipe into the dining hall are other UConn students that have been tested. You will not be able to swipe in students who have been identified by the University via contact tracing and are currently quarantining into your dining hall.
Q: What kind of food will be served during the quarantine/Fall semester?
Q: I have canceled my Fall Housing Application – what happens with my meal plan? When will this be reflected on my Fall 2020 fee bill?
A: If you have canceled your on-campus housing with Residence Life, Residence Life will then notify Dining Services, and your meal plan will automatically be canceled for you. No additional action will be required. Meal plan changes will be updated on your ID card within 24 hours, or on the next business day if submitted during the weekend. Your updated meal plan charge will be reflected within 5-7 business days on your Fall 2020 Fee Bill.
Q: I am living on campus this fall and want to cancel/decline my meal plan because you will only be serving take-out.
A: If you are living on-campus in a dorm or suite, a meal plan is required per the University’s Housing Contract and cannot be canceled. During the quarantine period for residents, the dining halls that are open will only be offering take-out meals with our regular menu options. Beginning August 31st, the Dining units will switch to a blended model of take-out and limited dine in. For those that prefer to eat outdoors, there will be outdoor tents for dining, available for use beginning August 31st, located at North, South, Student Union, and Founder's Green (located between the Austin Bldg and Beach Hall on the East part of campus).
If you would like to downgrade your meal plan, you have until Friday, September 4, 2020, to make this change. Please fill out our change your plan online form. Meal plan changes will be updated on your ID card within 24 hours, or on the next business day if submitted during the weekend. Your updated meal plan charge will be reflected within 5-7 business days on your Fall 2020 Fee Bill.
Q: What Dining halls and retail locations will be open this fall?
A: The following dining halls are open for students that have not been medically quarantined or gave been identified through the University via contact tracing: South, Putnam, Northwest, and McMahon. Gelfenbien Commons will be utilizing their grab and go window, beginning 9/23, for breakfast, lunch & dinner to-go meals during the week (lunch & dinner on the weekends). With the fluidity of current circumstances, we may not have all locations open and changes may occur quickly. Grab & Go's will not be open for the fall semester.
Dining hall hours for the fall are posted here.
During the quarantine period for residents, the dining halls above will only be offering take-out meals with our regular menu options. When classes begin, the dining halls may switch to a blended model of take-out and limited dine in. For those that prefer to eat outdoors, there will be outdoor tents for dining, available for use beginning September 1st, located at North, South, Student Union, and Founder's Green (located between the Austin Bldg and Beach Hall on the East part of campus).
Our menus will still be the same value and variety that we have always offered.
Retail dining locations, such as the cafes, will be open with reduced seating and will be arranged to allow for adequate physical distancing. Additional locations that are open: Mango, Union Street Market food court, Earth, Wok & Fire, One Plate, Two Plates, Market Cafe, Dairy Bar Too, Dairy Bar, Bookworms Cafe, Up & Atom Cafe, Beanery Cafe, and Food for Thought Food Truck.
Q: Why are only certain dining halls open?
A: We had a difficult challenge to determine which units to keep open and which ones to close. We went from 8 units to 5 due to the significant decrease in the students that are on the meal plan. We had to consider the number of seats which will be available with State and COVID-19 requirements.
The second challenge is that while we will be serving a full menu, with not much of a difference from the menu we served in the spring, our style of service had to be altered since now all offerings must be served by our employees and students cannot help themselves. Gelfenbien and Whitney have servery lines that back up to a wall making it impossible to accomplish this style of service.
Q. With Gelfenbien closed for the fall semester, where can Halal and Kosher options be found?
A: For Fall 2020 Kosher options will be available in all open dining halls at each meal every day. South also offers Halal meals Monday-Friday for lunch and dinner and on the weekends during brunch. Both of these options can also be found in our cafes and in the express cooler at Union Street Market.
Q: Why is Gelfenbien (Towers) not open?
A: Unfortunately, the Gelfenbien (Towers) servery does not currently meet the requirements under COVID-19 requirements so that our staff are able to serve students. The current configuration of the servery is set up for students to serve themselves which is not an acceptable model under the current restrictions. If distance is a concern, students can explore other dining facilities and also utilize the campus transit system to get around campus. See update for Gelfenbien here.
Q: If Grab & Go’s are not open and I can’t have outside guests, how can I use my flex passes?
A: You will still be able to swipe in other UConn students that have been tested to eat with you. New for Fall 2020 semester, Flex Passes will be taken in all of our open cafes with the exception of Market Cafe, located in the Student Union. The meal equivalency of a Flex Pass is $7.00 and can only be used once in a transaction. If you go over you will need to pay with cash, credit/debit card, Husky Bucks or points. There is no limit on the number of times you use a Flex Pass during the day.
Q: How can I use my points during the Fall semester?
A: Points come with the Ultimate and Value Meal Plan options (spending power: one point = one dollar). Points may be used for purchases at our retail operations (UC Cafés - Beanery, Up & Atom, Bookworms, Union Street Market food court, Mango, and Dairy Bar Too). Points may be used to purchase guest* meals in the dining units. New for Fall 2020 semester: Points will now be accepted at One Plate, Two Plates, Earth, Wok & Fire and the Food for Thought Food Truck.
Points cannot be used in the C-Store located in the Student Union, UConn Dairy Bar, UConn Dairy Bar Truck. Please note: points are not accepted at Subway and Dunkin Donuts in the Student Union as they are not run by Dining Services.
*During COVID-19 the only guests you will be able to swipe in are other UConn students that have been tested, beginning August 31st.
Q: I am a vegetarian, will my dietary needs be met and will there be enough variety? How will I know which meals are vegetarian?
A: Yes. As always vegetarian options will be available. Our menu and variety of options have not changed. The only thing that has changed is the take-out service model.
Q: What are your safety protocols in the dining halls?
A: Some of our safety protocols include: All food will be served in to-go containers and changes will be made to items that were formerly self-serve. All units have plexiglass and staff will be wearing PPE. We will maintain 6 feet of distancing in the servery and seating areas. Distancing markers will be on the floor throughout. Staff will be assigned to touchpoints, tables, and chairs. Staff will be at the check-in to each dining hall but students will self swipe in.
Q: What are your meal plan options?
A: All of our meal plan options are listed in detail on our website at: dining.uconn.edu/meal-plans/
The price of the meal plan has not been increased from last year.
Q: How do I change my meal plan, and when will this be changed on my fee bill?
A: You have until Friday, September 4, 2020 to change your fall semester meal plan. Please fill out our change your plan online form.
Meal plan changes will be updated on your ID card within 24 hours, or on the next business day if submitted during the weekend. Your updated meal plan charge will be reflected within 5-7 business days on your Fall 2020 Fee Bill.
Q: I will be living off-campus/in an apartment this fall. How can I sign up for a Community Plan or Voluntary Residential meal plan?
A: Please fill out our online form. Once the form is submitted, students will receive an email confirmation Monday – Friday (excluding holidays) within 24 hours of when a meal plan is added. Your charge will be applied to your fee bill. Find details about these plans at dining.uconn.edu/meal-plans/.
Q: I have food allergies/dietary needs. Who can I talk to about this?
A: Please first contact the UConn Center for Students with Disabilities to apply for accommodation.
Once your accommodation is approved, please then request an appointment with Dining Services at dining.uconn.edu/dietary-restrictions-preferences/; and include in your allergy description and the name of your CSD appointed contact. A Dining Services staff member will then reach out to you to schedule an appointment. At your appointment, our Assistant Directors will speak with you to further discuss your allergy or dietary restriction, as well as any additional questions or concerns you may have relating to your needs.
During the semester, students with dietary accommodations will need to call ahead to the dining hall they wish to get their meal from so that it can be prepared for them.