WHat’s Changed in the QU Cafeteria and why?
Classes at Quincy University started August 17, 2020, and students find themselves having to adjust to the new way that things are operating on campus. QU has put in health and safety measures all around campus, to protect students from COVID-19, but one aspect that students are having trouble adjusting to, are the changes made in the cafeteria.
Joe Bordewick is the Director of Dining Services at QU’s cafeteria and says that the current operating status of the cafeteria is a direct reflection of their commitment to QU’s COVID-19 policies. The staff at QU are doing their best to remain healthy so they can continue to feed the students on campus.
The policies put in place in the cafeteria are also what has been advised by the ACHD, health authorities and the state of Illinois.
“Masks, hand sanitizing, and physical distancing are required in the Cafe at all times,” Bordewick said. “Food is being served to-go because of the state’s requirement for 50 or less in all spaces. It’s served on single-use disposables so it can be as contactless as possible.”
With many guidelines and safety precautions being put in place by the staff working in the cafeteria, students like Sam Costa are happy that their health is being made a priority and that the staff members are doing what they can to keep the cafeteria a safe place.
“The staff are taking the necessary precautions, they put pieces of tape everywhere six feet apart on the ground and they are wearing masks and gloves,” Costa said.
Nick Chapman is a student at QU and finds himself missing the social aspect that the cafeteria can no longer offer this year.
“I feel like I’ve lost a way of socializing,” Chapman said. “After training I would usually eat my food and talk to my teammates around a table and it was very enjoyable and good for building morale.”
Costa lives in a residence hall on campus without a kitchen which means he had to purchase the “Cafe All Access” meal plan providing him with unlimited meals for the semester.
“I understand the reasons related to COVID-19 but I don’t think they have been communicated well,” Costa said. “I paid money for the all access all you can eat meal plan but this is not what I am getting because of the restrictions.”
Students have described the take-out process in the cafeteria as smooth and effective. Students are required to scan their own ID cards when walking in, then follow the signs and tape on the floor so that traffic flows in one direction in the cafeteria.
“This process is very smooth when there are no lines,” Chapman said. “The only problem I have is having to juggle everything I’m holding with my food and try not to drop anything, which has happened a few times already.”
Bordewick states that the food lines now available are a combination of the three hot stations usually available in the cafeteria.
“We’ve combined them to provide the most inclusive variety that our space and equipment will possibly allow,” Bordewick said.
Students have expressed dissatisfaction with the fact that they cannot get their sandwiches pressed or toasted during peak meal times and Bordewick explains why.
“The panini press and turbo-chef oven at the deli are temporarily not available during peak rush times in an effort to keep the deli line from backing up too far, which could lead to problems with physical distancing and students spending too much time waiting in line,” Bordewick said.
Bordewick and his colleagues are working on a plan to make the experience more pleasant for everyone involved.
“We are currently working with the local health authorities on a safe and sustainable plan to open up some limited indoor dining capacity soon,” Bordewick said.