When students finished their first meals of the new semester in Peirce Hall, they were met with a new system for dish return. Instead of sorting utensils and cups into separate bins, students must now simply pour their liquids into the trough under the dish return before placing all of their items on the rack.
The change comes as a result of three factors, according to AVI Resident Director Christopher Wisbey: aesthetics, space and time.
“When students were coming in for tours or we had events here, you had these glass racks and bins that could be dirty and it didn’t look good,” Wisbey said.
Now the cup and utensil pickup has moved behind the scenes, where the AVI worker who would have stood outside the dish return to assist students and manage the area is now in charge of separating the cups and utensils from the line.
The dish return window has been lowered four inches and retiled with large, white tiles, that, according to Wisbey, had to be approved by Graham Gund ’63 H’81. Soon, the College plans to install wood paneling and running water in the area.
This change also allows for more space in the dish return area, which Wisbey hopes will help cut down on any clogging that may occur when large numbers of students are trying to return dishes at once.
“Students have told us that they’re in a hurry, they’re really busy,” Wisbey said, “and we understand that and hear that so we thought, ‘Let’s make this faster and easier to get out.’”
AVI also now offers to-go containers and grab-and-go sandwiches in the servery to help students manage their busy schedules.
So far, reactions have been mixed but generally positive, according to Wisbey. On the lunch of the first Monday back, the line for the dish return wrapped around the atrium, but by that same time on Wednesday, students seemed to be used to the new system and there was less backup.