The Simpson College campus has adopted a plethora of changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, perhaps the most evident being within Pfeiffer Dining Hall.
Pfeiffer, the most centrally located dining option on campus, used to offer an abundance of options, including hot entrees, pizza, pasta, deli choices, fresh fruits/veggies, salads, soups, ice cream, desserts, and customizable dishes. Students used to fill nearly all seats available in Pfeiffer; now, all tables and chairs are vacant.
Pfeiffer takes a COVID-19 phased approach to campus dining as constructed by Sodexo, Simpson College’s food contractor.
Students must go through the main entrance of Pfeiffer, scan their cards through a plastic separator, line up according to floor stickers marking social distancing, and exit through the northern exit facing Buxton Park. Dining-in is now prohibited.
Food options are now limited to one hot entree option, pizza and pasta (upon request), fruit, salad, a dessert, and bottled or canned beverages. All options are either pre-packaged or given to students in a carry-out box. All self-service options have been eliminated.
“I’ve been eating out more and buying more groceries for sure,” senior Sara Trent said. “Honestly, I’ve just been eating out more because it’s more convenient and allows me to have a lot more options.”
Some students find it difficult to adjust to the limited dining options on campus and are exploring other options.
“In my opinion, it’s just not enough food with not enough choices,” junior Chance Mace said. “I’ve found myself buying more groceries and cooking in more, which is the first time I’ve done that consistently during my time at Simpson.”
Junior Rhett Darland believes Pfeiffer is offering a decent selection of food, given the circumstances.
“Honestly, the quality of food isn’t terrible,” Darland said. “They do a decent job of trying to have a different selection every day, and meals are usually pretty balanced with the option of sides like salads, yogurts, etc.. it can be pretty difficult to make it there sometimes with my class schedule and everything else that comes along with being an athlete.”
Heidi Levine, Chair of Simpson’s Crisis Management Team, released an email Tuesday, Sept. 8 detailing modifications to the Orange Phase guidelines effective at noon on Friday, Sept. 11.
For each person in a room or apartment, students may invite one person into their ‘family unit’ and must inform their CA of doing so at least 24 hours before said person visits.
These changes will affect on-campus dining as we’ve seen it since returning to campus and will include limited in-person dining in Pfeiffer and Kent, but only for the expanded ‘family units’ and those who choose to dine alone. Social distancing protocols will still be in place.
These changes may incentivize more students to eat at Pfeiffer, and the feeling of community students once had dining-in may slowly return.
“I feel like I’ll definitely start eating at Pfeif more now that I can sit down and eat more food there with my roommates and a few friends,” Mace said. “It will start to feel a lot more like normal.”