ObieSafe: Dining

Campus Dining is one of the most important pillars of our residential community, providing a space to nourish bodies, friendships, and communities.

In order to provide as safe a dining experience as possible in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, students will see many changes to the daily operation of Campus Dining. Oberlin College is delighted to have AVI Fresh as its new dining vendor. In addition to a wide range of actions related to dining safety, AVI is bringing new dining opportunities, menus, and approaches that will greatly enrich the student experience.

Even in this challenging time, important dining communities like the Lord-Saunders dining hall will continue to operate, with exciting new menu options. New programs, like a kosher dining hall, an allergen-sensitive kitchen (which will eliminate the eight most common dietary allergens), and other novel dining concepts will bring new ways to satisfy appetites and allow students to avoid large crowds, which must be achieved to limit the transmission of COVID-19. 

Look for upcoming communication about the new menus and facilities, which we are confident you will enjoy. For questions about your dietary needs, please contact Campus Dining at (440) 775-8101. We look forward to hearing from you.

Meal Service during Move-In Quarantine

Meal plans start for everyone on the day that they arrive on campus and begin their quarantine period. Students (during check-in) will receive grocery bags containing shelf-stable items that will be served at room temperature. There will be three variations—vegan, allergen sensitive, and no restrictions. All bags consist of 2,500 calories and have high-protein items.

Locations and Options

This year, campus dining is proud to host programs in the following locations:

  • Stevenson
  • DeCafe
  • The Rathskeller
  • Azariah’s
  • SkyBar
  • Harkness dining hall (allergen-sensitive)
  • Fairchild dining hall
  • Talcott dining hall (kosher)

We look forward to sharing information about the exciting new menus at these facilities in the coming days.

In 2020–2021, the entire dining program will open with grab-and-go options only (no in-hall dining).  Students are welcome to request as much food as they like in all-you-can-eat locations.  All self-service items will now be served in take-out containers.

Safety-Related Modifications

Stevenson Hall, our busiest and biggest dining facility, will undergo a number of changes to ensure the safest possible dining environment.  New food stations (menus coming soon!) will be accessed in a coordinated way to ensure physical distancing.  Specific changes you will see include:

  • Designated entrance and exit
  • Required face masks for team members and guests
  • Temperatures logged for each team member every day
  • Gloves worn by all team members, frequent handwashing
  • Contactless transactions (No cash accepted)
  • Plexiglass to help physically distance
  • Sanitizer readily available
  • Constant cleaning of high-contact areas
  • Markings every 6 feet
    • Markings will help dictate the number of guests allowed in the dining area to pick up food
  • All-You-Can-Eat
    • Prepackaged meals to speed up service and help spread out
    • Modifications available by request to meet diners’ specific needs

You will see the same changes in our other dining halls as well. Additional strategies include:

  • Helping to spread students out by opening multiple venues
  • Consistent application of safety standards across facilities
  • Potential mobile ordering (piloting in fall 2020)
  • Potential text pickup (pilot coming soon)
  • Grab-and-go options available at all locations
  • Stationed attendants as needed to help with direction and crowd management
  • More hours, more choices

Additional Commitments

Campus Dining will also seek to maintain its environmental sustainability commitments during this shift to take-away dining by utilizing:

  • Environmentally friendly packaging
  • Green eco-container program
  • Zero Styrofoam
  • Collaborating with Ecolab specialists to identify additional green strategies

We will collaborate with a student leadership team throughout the year to explore additional strategies that may prove helpful for ensuring a high-quality dining experience, including:

  • Schedule specific lunch periods if needed
  • Extended hours of service
  • Pick-up locker
    • Place an order through the mobile app and pay for it

    • Upon arrival, scan the QR code to unlock a secured ambient, warming and refrigerated compartment.

Oberlin College also offers its deepest appreciation to the leadership of OSCA and the Kosher-Halal Co-op, which will not be operating due to the challenges of COVID-19.  Campus Dining Services is committed to meeting the dietary needs of co-op members during this period. 

Please reach out for assistance with your specific needs. If you would like to request an accommodation or exemption from the dining program, please contact the appropriate office as soon as possible.