Morgan students adjust to strict on-campus dining regulations

New social distancing guidelines in Rawlings Dining Hall are met with frustration as students adapt to the reality of an altered on-campus experience


Jordan D. Brown, Staff Writer

When civil engineering major Princess Vasquez wakes up for class, she typically grabs a leftover snack that she ordered from Rawlings Dining Hall the night before. She then heads back to the café with a group of friends for breakfast 

Several students living on campus including Vasquez, prefer ordering thier meals from the dining hall and eating outdoors to avoid social distancing rules. She said the restrictions have become inconvenient. 

In the café, there will be a super long table with two chairs at the end and the plexiglass in the middle,” Vasquez said. “We can’t hear each other so we have to lean over to the side just to talk.”  

Students who reside on campus can now select pre-order and takeout options on the Bite app, Morgan’s newly launched food service application.

Although the app allows users to access the weekly menu at their fingertips, most students including sophomore biology major Bryonia Brown skips online ordering.

Brown, who has never used the app, said it’s not popular amongst students.  

“A lot of people just use [Instagram] to see what they’re offering for dinner or that meal,” she said.  

According to SodexoMagic General Manager Mitchell Oliver, the app only receives three orders a day.

It’s starting off rather slow,” Oliver said.  

Inside the cafeteria, only one food station is open for students to order their main course meal. Each table has long plexiglass dividers and is separated six feet apart to follow social distancing guidelines.  

The fountain drink station is closed due to sanitary concerns and was replaced with water and bottled drinks. Shelves have also been constructed near the entrance for students who’ve selected no-contact meal pickup through the app. 

On a typical day, Vasquez orders her go-to breakfast meal including strawberry yogurt, granola and apple juice. She then walks into an empty dining hall with little to no students. Students are not allowed to sit in groups or near surrounding tables. 

“We tried to all sit together one timenot even at the same table, but tables next to each other and they would not let us sit by each other,” Vasquez said. 

While Morgan’s foodservice looks a little different this year, a few things remain the same including the traditional Fried Chicken Wednesday. But for Brown, that’s not enough. 

“It’s frustrating,” she said. “As college students, you want to all come together and talk about your day… and now it can only be two people at a table.”