Redifer Employee Transaction

A Redifer Commons employee works the checkout on Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021 in University Park, Pa. It was recently announced Redifer Commons will close on weekends due to staff shortages.

After a year of atypical operations due to the coronavirus pandemic, Penn State said at the beginning of the semester that campus dining halls would once again open for full dine-in options.

Student Ava Matz said she’s grateful for full-capacity dining and the “varied and diverse” menu items.

“I enjoy in-person dining because I get to be around other students and meet new people,” Matz (sophomore-kinesiology) said. “The Findlay Commons is the place where I go the most.”

Also a fan of in-person dining, Daniel Guld (junior-chemical engineering) said his favorite place to eat is in West’s Waring Commons because he said the buffet style and food options there are impressive.

Hayden Bailly said being able to eat in the dining hall is a lot better than having to “grab and go.” Last semester, in-person dining was limited.

“When I was a freshman... I ate most of the time in my room,” Bailly (sophomore-security and risk analysis) said. “But now it is awesome, since we are back to the dining hall to eat.”

While Penn State still requires all students and staff to wear masks indoors, some students said they feel safe when they eat in the dining hall.

“For me, in-person dining is fine, and it feels good to chat with friends while eating,” Thea Gayman (freshman-biochemistry and molecular biology) said. “I think at this point the dining hall is doing everything [it] can to ensure the safety of students.”

South Dining Halls Allergies, In a Pickle making a sandwich

An employee at In a Pickle makes a sandwich in Redifer Commons on Friday, Nov. 8, 2019.

Kyle Martin (junior-supply chain management) also said he thinks it’s acceptable to wear a mask inside the buildings and take it off while dining.

After waiting one year, Sofia Bennetts said the return of full dining hall seating has given her many opportunities to be with her friends and socialize.

Bennetts (sophomore-biology) also said she likes that there is less waste this year with less students taking their food out in styrofoam boxes and more sitting down to eat in the halls.

“Although it is probably not the safest in terms of stopping coronavirus from spreading, they did a lot for students, such as [setting] more guidelines to sanitize and social distance,” Bennetts said.

Penn State recently said North Food District at Warnock Commons will be closed on Saturdays, and South Food District at Redifer Commons will be closed during the weekends.

“I think that is really inconvenient, and I do not want to have to always buy a deli sandwich on Saturday for dinner,” Bruce Gao (senior-music) said. “I think football Saturdays are one of the biggest reasons, like the IM Building is closed, so I am thinking the same thing.”

Madison Holland said she always goes to eat at Warnock Commons because it is cheaper, but now she has to go to the market and spend more money than she would if she ate in the dining hall.

“There are not a lot of people working there, and I think they need to have a day off,” Holland (freshman-music education) said. “I see them every day working, and they are the same people.”

Olivia Muse said the weekend closure of some campus dining halls is “very strange.”

“I heard one of the buildings closed because of lack of workers, so I think that could possibly have something to do with the dining hall,” Muse (freshman-international politics) said. “Or they just do not have that many people coming in on Saturdays because of school, going home or hanging out with friends, so they close it on Saturdays.”

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