Students will no longer need to make reservations to eat at the Crossroads Culinary Center (C3) starting March 27.
C3 is the latest campus entity to loosen its COVID-19 restrictions following UB's removal of its mask mandate on March 5. The eatery is now “able to begin to return to a more normal, pre-pandemic service model,” Campus Dining and Shops director of marketing and communications Raymond Kohl told The Spectrum in an email.
A reservation system has been in place since Aug. 21, 2021 to ensure the dining hall maintains a strict policy of social distancing, so that it never exceeds its capacity to cater to a certain number of students at any given time.
UB also instituted other COVID-19-related measures in its shops and eateries, such as modified indoor seating and meeting the mark for new state cleaning requirements that insisted “high risk areas and frequently touched surfaces must be cleaned and disinfected at least twice daily,” according to the New York State Department of Health.
Fall 2020 saw Campus Dining and Shops begin requesting students to make reservations with the GET app — alongside an additional digital food service app, Nutrislice — to ensure the number of students eating at any given time did not exceed the dining hall’s social distancing capacity. These apps will still remain in place for ordering purposes.
Last fall, students expressed concerns that C3’s reservation system was complex, with students saying they went hungry and missed meals due to inflexible and booked-up scheduling times. By contrast, the incoming, familiar, first-come first-serve system will allow students to dine at their convenience, between the operating hours of 4:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on weekdays, and 10 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. on weekends.
The removal of reservations is another step forward in UB’s unwinding of its COVID-19-era measures.
“Students are excited that reservations will no longer be needed… it will give them more flexibility,” Kohl said.
Sophie McNally is an assistant sports editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sophie McNally is an assistant sports editor at The Spectrum. She is a history major studying abroad for a year from Newcastle University in the UK. In her spare time, she can be found blasting The 1975 or Taylor Swift and rowing on a random river at 5 a.m.