Spring Semester/COVID Updates & FAQ

Updates & Common Dining Questions For Spring 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.

For additional questions please check our regular FAQ page, call 860-486-3128  or use our contact form. If you reach our voicemail, please leave a message and someone will get in touch with you.

Any information with a strike thru indicates that the information is no longer relevant or has since changed.


Spring Semester

Updates & Important Reminders

  • Dining & Retail updates for Spring Break and beyond
  • Spring Semester Meal Plans end on Sunday, April 11th after dinner. Beginning Sunday, April 11th, McMahon is the only dining hall open. Take-out only, no indoor seating.
  • 4/2 Quarantine: Effective April 2nd at 4pm, Eddy, Middlesex, Windham, Rogers, and Russell will be placed in residential quarantine.   Students under residential quarantine can still receive meals in our quarantine dining halls at North and Buckley
  • Dining During Ramadan - Click here for details
  • Passover Meals: Gelfenbien Grab & Go window will be serving Passover meals Tuesday, March 30th through Friday, April 2nd by reservation only. Seder meals on the weekend will be catered by Nosh Kosher Kitchen at Hillel House. Cash or check payments must be made prior to Friday, March 26, 2021. Sign up here https://dining.uconn.edu/2021-passover-meals/
  • Monday, Feb 8: Buckley has reopened for service.
  • Monday, Feb 8: Buckley is closed to start the day. Students will need to use North as the alternative quarantine unit until the repairs to the steam line are made. We will keep you updated when Buckley reopens. Thank you for your patience.
  • Monday, Feb 15: Up & Atom Cafe in the BioPhysics building will be closed from 2/15-2/19
  • Thursday, Feb 4: 9am - Northwest Dining Hall has reopened
  • Wednesday, Feb 3: Northwest Dining Hall closed for dinner due to water main break in Northwest Quad
  • Tuesday, Feb 2nd: Delayed Campus Opening: All dining halls operate normal hours
    Retail Locations
    Mango: 11am-2pm (food & smoothies)
    Cafes: Beanery, Bookworms, Up & Atom: Open 11am-3pm
    Food Truck: Open normal hours 11am-6pm
    Student Union Locations: Normal hours; lunch service at USM begins at 11am
  • Monday, Feb 1st: Campus Closure: All dining halls will close at 7:15pm. There will be no late night dining at McMahon & Northwest. USM Food Court is open with limited stations. All other retail is closed. Reminder that Buckley & North have transitioned to quarantine only units with take out only and that indoor seating is now available at all other units.
  • Spring meal plan begins Saturday, January 16th - dining hall hours
  • South, McMahon, Putnam, North, Northwest, and Buckley will be open to all students for take-out only from 1/16-1/31
  • All Dining Halls mentioned above will be open normal hours on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Mon., Jan. 18th
  • Buckley & North will transition to quarantine-only units on February 1st
  • Gelfenbien take-out window opens on Saturday, January 16th
  • There will be no indoor seating until February 1st
  • Late Night Dining at McMahon and Northwest begins on Sunday, January 31st
  • The Food for Thought Food Truck will be stationed behind Whitney Dining Hall (opening 1/19/21) for the Spring semester serving lunch & dinner - meal swipes and other forms of payment accepted
  • Retail hours for the quarantine period and spring semester
  • Dairy Bar will reopen on Wednesday, Feb. 3 for online orders with curbside pick up
  • Deadline to downgrade your meal plan is Friday, February 5th. You can upgrade your plan at any point in the semester.
  • You cannot swipe in another UConn student into a dining hall during campus-wide quarantine periods or any point into a quarantine-only dining unit.
  • Dining Guidelines during COVID-19
  • Food allergy or intolerance? Click here for more info.

Just Ask

If you have a dietary request –“Just Ask”

If you are looking for a particular item, and don’t see it-“Just Ask”

If you are vegan or vegetarian and are looking for a different menu option –“Just Ask”

If you are looking for a slight modification to a menu item, “Just Ask:  if it is possible, we will do our best to accommodate your request.

If there is anything else, "Just Ask" for a manager and we will be happy to assist.

Q: How can I use my flex passes during the semester?

A: 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. When you are at that cafe, multiple, separate Flex Passes can be used. If you choose to only use one Flex Pass and your order is over $7.00 you will need to pay the balance 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. SWIPING IN GUESTS: Please note that during COVID-19 swiping in guests to the dining hall with your Flex Passes is limited to UConn students (that have been tested for COVID-19). You are not able to swipe in another UConn student during campus-wide quarantine periods or at any point in a quarantine-only dining unit.

Q: How can I use my points during the 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, Market Cafe, Mango, and Dairy Bar Too). Points may be used to purchase guest* meals in the dining units. New for Fall 20/Spring 21 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 you can swipe in another UConn student (that has been tested for COVID-19) into the dining halls. You are not able to swipe in another student during campus-wide quarantine periods or into quarantine-only dining halls.

Q: Can I use my points and Husky Bucks while in quarantine?

A: Your points and Husky Bucks are still active if you have been placed in quarantine. The only thing that is restricted on your card is which dining halls you can swipe into. Students in quarantine must pick up their meals from North or Buckley. Students in medical isolation will receive their meals delivered to them by UConn Catering.

Q: What do I do if I can’t get to a dining facility because of an illness not related to COVID-19?

If you become ill and cannot make it to a dining unit for a meal, you may call the dining facility you normally eat in, ask for the unit manager on duty, and request a meal “to go.” Please provide the manager with your PeopleSoft number as well as the name of the individual who will be picking up your meal. When the designated person picks up the meal for you, they must swipe in their own card, swipe in the requesting student’s card, and ask for the unit manager on duty to assist with the take-out.

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 in person 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.

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 Feb 1st 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 COVID 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 on January 16th. The option to dine-in begins on February 1st.

Q: Can I swipe in a friend?

A: During campus-wide quarantine periods you will not be able to swipe in anyone. For the Spring semester, the only people you will be able to swipe into the dining hall are other UConn students that have been tested for COVID-19. You will not be able to swipe in students who have been identified by the University via contact tracing and are quarantining. If you have been contacted by the University to quarantine, you will need to get your take-out meals from North or Buckley and will not be able to swipe in other students.

Q: What kind of food will be served during quarantine periods?

A: Our menu and variety of options will not change during quarantine periods. You can see our daily menus on the myUConn app (download from App store or Google Play) or on our website.

Q: I have canceled my housing application – what happens with my meal plan? When will this be reflected on my 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 Fee Bill.

Q: If I live on campus, can I cancel my meal plan?

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.

If you would like to downgrade your meal plan, you have until Friday, Feb 5, 2021, 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 Fee Bill.

Q: What dining halls and retail locations will be open this spring?

A: Dining halls that will be open include: North*, Northwest, Putnam, McMahon, South, and Buckley*

Dining hall hours for the spring are posted here.

During the quarantine period for residents (Jan 16-30th), the dining halls will be open to all students and take out only with our regular menu options.

Indoor seating begins on January 31st.

*On January 31st, Buckley and North will transition to quarantine-only units.

Retail - click here for what's open and when during quarantine & spring semester.

Whitney Food Truck: For the spring semester the Food for Thought Food Truck will be stationed behind Whitney Dining Hall for lunch and dinner, Monday-Friday. Students can use a meal plan swipe or other forms of payment.


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.

Gelfenbien take-out window is open (beginning Jan 18th) for continuous service 7 days a week.

Q. With Gelfenbien closed, where can Halal and Kosher options be found?

A: 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: 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.

Our foods are labeled in the dining hall and you can also view the menus in advance. You can see our daily menus on the myUConn app (download from App store or Google Play) or on our website.

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, February 5th, 2021 to change your spring 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 Fee Bill.

Q: I will be living off-campus/in an apartment. 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.