Dining on Campus During COVID-19

By Reginald Briggs and Scott McWilliams, February 26, 2021
A message from Reginald Briggs, associate director of dining services, and Scott McWilliams, director of dining services.

IC Public Health Column video.

In Ithaca College Dining Services, we know our guests’ experiences — and our reputation — are shaped by the food we serve, the service we provide and the atmosphere we create. Thank you to all of our guests for their patience and support as we follow protocols to help keep everyone safe and healthy. Our mission is to deliver a great dining experience while understanding that dining at IC looks a little different this semester. We are heartened by everyone’s cooperation in the necessary changes. 

Speaking of changes, both residential dining locations, Campus Center Dining Hall and Terrace Dining Hall, have shifted from self-service to full-service operations. Staff members supply all food and beverage to guests and provide contactless service. Additionally, both dining facilities’ floors are stickered with “dots” spaced 6 feet apart to guide physical distancing in lines. Terrace Dining Hall also provides physically distanced seating for 115 guests; signs are placed on tables and throughout the space as a friendly reminder about maintaining spacing. You can help out our dining staff by adhering to these new COVID requirements so that they can focus on providing great dining service. All tables and chairs are cleaned and sanitized after each use. While Campus Center Dining Hall only has seating for ADA accessibility this semester, there is appropriately spaced-out seating for students in IC Square. 

Retail locations, including the Food Court, Chick-N-Bap, Ithaca Bakery and Towers Marketplace, are operating exclusively with contactless ordering and service through Grubhub. The Grubhub app allows guests to order at their convenience and lets them know when their order will be ready, so there’s no need to stand around and wait. Our retail locations also maintain the same COVID-19 protocols as our residential units, including physically distanced queuing and sanitized seating. 

In addition to distancing and cleanliness, de-densifying challenges have brought creative solutions that will continue to evolve throughout the semester. For example, guests with meal plans can use their meal swipes at Towers Marketplace and the new Meal Swipe Express in Campus Center. Guests should also continue to monitor offerings in the residential units as we make modifications and additions regularly to meet guest requests. 

We encourage all our guests to get to know the staff in the units they frequent and talk to them about questions and requests. Managers and chefs look forward to working with guests to ensure their dietary, service and safety experiences are met. 

Finally, we’re happy to report that our green reusable container and carabiner exchange program is a great ecological benefit in a time that requires the use of so many disposable products. Students with meal plans were given one green reusable container and carabiner when they arrived on campus at the start of the semester. Guests must bring their carabiners with them when they swipe for a meal. They will receive their meal in a green container in exchange for the carabiner. When guests are finished with a container, they can drop it at one of the multiple exchange stations in and around the dining facilities and receive another carabiner in its place. New carabiners may be purchased for $3 each. 

Lastly, we are so happy to see so many new and familiar faces in our dining locations. Thank you, again, for your enthusiasm, suggestions, compliance with protocols, and understanding as we continue to work to keep our guests safe and nourished. 


Reginald Briggs, Associate Director of Dining Services 

Scott McWilliams, Director of Dining Services