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Lockdown Lunches and Distanced Dinners

Updated: Dec 1, 2020

by Leah Dwyer

As the semester comes to an end, four Purchase students reflect on their experiences dining on campus during the fall 2020 semester.

“The workers have been fabulous this semester,” said Sarah Siano, a senior anthropology and media studies major. “They still take the time to be personal and so polite with students.”

Most of what the students had to say was very complimentary towards the school. Many of them described taking their boxed meals outside for distanced meals with their peers.

“They are the reason we're getting fed, and I have so much appreciation that they show up every day during a pandemic just to make sure we can all eat safely,” said Siano.

The only problem across the board seemed to be a lack of variation in the food.

“I really only ate the same few things on a rotation,” said Chloe Lembesis, a sophomore film student. “That really isn't desirable.”

Hayley Peck, a freshman painting and drawing major, said, “There are some options but it has been very limited.”

Siano disagreed with Peck and Lembesis. “I think they've done well with variation,” she said. “They still make a lot of different options.”

Dining was a different game for Alyssa Karnatz, a senior photography major. Karnatz has celiac disease, meaning she can’t eat wheat.

“They don’t really care,” said Karnatz. “The only thing the school has is gluten-free bread and they just added desserts, but they don’t have gluten-free pasta or pizza.”

Unlike Peck, Lembesis and Siano, who said they ate school food about twice a day, Karnatz says she was usually limited to one meal a day due to lack of options.

According to Siano, the Dining Hall, Terra Ve and Einstein’s Bagels were the only dining places on campus open. The Dining Hall and Terra Ve remained open for most of the day however, Einstein’s was only open from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m.

Siano the food is served in boxes and you tell them what you would like in it. They are using plexiglass in front of all the food, with small openings to pass the boxes through. The workers must wear gloves and masks.

“They usually listen to people,” Siano said. “A lot of the time I ended up with so much extra food, but I guess that's better than going hungry."

The school’s dining services were reached out to and declined to discuss anything about the college’s food situation.

“I think it’s smart,” said Karnatz, in regards to the school’s food safety precautions.

Lembesis said, “They have done a good job when talking about safety protocol.” She understands the limitations put in place because of COVID-19 but remained critical of the food. “I know that they are doing the best they can, but that is not necessarily the greatest.”

“The way they are distributing food is probably the safest they can, so I have a lot of respect for that,” said Siano.

In anticipation of the spring semester, these students offered some suggestions for improving the campus dining options.

Karnatz, despite not returning for the spring semester, hopes for more accommodations for those with dietary restrictions. She also wants to see healthier food options.

Lembesis wants more dining options, hoping the school could find a way to open Starbucks and the More Store.

Peck hopes to see more food options. She said, “I feel like they serve the same things every day.”

Siano hopes that the opening of the Hub in the spring will help with improving the food.

She also suggests that the school try to respond better to what food students want. “I would have loved to fill out some type of survey with types of food I'd like, or not like to see,” she said.



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