The Grind @ FML, the cafe in Fairchild Martindale Library is reopening on Nov. 10. Fud Truk and Simply Skewered are open as well. (Courtesy of Maddie Phillips)

Students adjust to shifting dining regulations


As a result of the increase in on-campus COVID-19 cases in early October, Lehigh Dining has transitioned to largely to-go meals for students. 

Effective Oct. 5, Rathbone Dining Hall, Cort @ Lower UC, Brodhead Dining Hall, Upper UC Food Court, Clutch & Go, Baker’s Junction and Hawk’s Nest all moved to entirely to-go dining options. 

Fud Truk and Simply Skewered remain open. Since cases among students declined since the initial outbreak about a month ago, The Grind @ FML will reopen Nov. 10, according to a Nov. 6 university email.

Bruce Christine, general manager of Lehigh Dining, said students who swipe into dining halls are not limited in the amount of to-go containers they are allowed to take.

Alina Smith, ‘24, said she feels the transition to to-go dining has decreased the quality of food and increased the hassle of acquiring meals. She also said interactions with other students within dining halls are more limited. 

“I would say at the beginning of the year, when we were allowed to eat inside, it was way more social,” Smith said. 

Smith said she views going to get food now as more of an inconvenience than an opportunity to see friends.

Lehigh’s executive director of Student Auxiliary Services, David Joseph, said the dining experience has changed.

“It’s the fact that you’re not getting it on a plate and eating it within 60 seconds, you’re getting it in a take-out container, possibly walking up to Dravo and sitting and eating it,” he said.

However, Evan Rehrig, marketing manager of Lehigh Dining, said the quality of Lehigh Dining has “100 percent stayed the same.”

Christine said Lehigh students and staff have adapted well to the transition.

“We could be doing a better job if we could be making things to order, presenting it in front of you, but all in all it’s working,” he said.

Rehrig said the flexibility of the Lehigh Dining staff has been a key component in ensuring a smooth transition to to-go dining.

Smith said she now finds herself ordering food off campus three to four times a week.

“I’m kind of wasting my swipes and my Dining Dollars,” she said. “I keep that in mind to try to use them before the semester ends, but I think that it’s not worth the money to pay what we do for them.”

Joseph said Lehigh Dining is not considering refunds or carrying over meal swipes to the second semester, as Dining Services continued to operate during the scale back period. He said with all block plans for students, every student had the opportunity to use their meal plans to their fullest even with a somewhat shortened semester.

Joseph said he is unsure whether or not Lehigh will return to in-person dining this semester, since Dining Services is only open until Lehigh students move out on Nov. 23.

Joseph said Lehigh Dining is looking to Lehigh’s COVID Response Team for information regarding the reopening of dining facilities.

Christine said to monitor Lehigh Dining’s social media accounts for updates on dining at Lehigh this semester and beyond. You can find them @lehighdining on Instagram and Twitter. 

Comment policy

Comments posted to The Brown and White website are reviewed by a moderator before being approved. Incendiary speech or harassing language, including comments targeted at individuals, may be deemed unacceptable and not published. Spam and other soliciting will also be declined.

The Brown and White also reserves the right to not publish entirely anonymous comments.

Leave A Reply