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Important Information Regarding Phase 1 of Campus Dining Plan

Updated August 25, 2020

To the Members of the University Community:

I am writing to inform you of some important changes to the ways we will offer on-campus dining as we open campus. The goal of this plan is to protect the health of our community and take extra steps to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

This plan will continue through at least Tuesday, September 8, at which time the plan may be adjusted if there is a high degree of compliance to safety expectations and a low rate of positive COVID-19 cases on campus.

This plan ensures that no one is eating on the same floor in University Commons where food is served while at the same time protects campus safety, and maximizes convenience and the quantity of food that customers can take. 

Phase 1 of the plan will consist only of “Grab and Go” Dining Options

University Commons

  • Robust “Grab and Go” options will be available in an extended space on the second floor of the University Commons. The space is arranged to minimize two-way traffic and expedite quick service. There will be no seating on the second floor. 

  • To-go bags will be given out and are strongly encouraged to be used with no limits on food. 

  • The Bear’s Den on first floor of the University Commons will be a space for commuters to eat. Space is limited.
  • There will be no “Grab and Go” options on the third floor in Phase 1, and Seating on the third floor may be made available to start Phase 2 or in the case of inclement weather.

  • There is no eating in any open spaces on first floor in University Commons. Mask wearing is required on the first floor and in grab-and-go stations on the second floor, with the exception of when one is eating in the enclosed space in the Bear’s Den, or if seating is made available on the third floor to start Phase 2, or in inclement weather.

Rivers Auditorium

  • Rivers Auditorium will be made into a commuter eating or inclement weather eating destination. Space is limited.

Caprio Alumni Healthful Living Center (CAHLC)

  • No eating in CAHLC is permitted.

Campus Center

  • No eating in any open spaces in the Campus Center is permitted.

We encourage all community members to use the new App, which can be downloaded on all mobile platforms and is entitled, “Transact Mobile Ordering.” Once you download, select “Western New England University” and login with your WNE email and password. The app will enable you to order items from Firehouse, Starbucks and Grill Works so you can easily pick up and take your food and beverages to another location.

So where should you eat?

  • Resident students strongly encouraged to eat outside or in their room in their residence hall. Outdoor seating has been significantly expanded and lawn space is encouraged for picnic use.

  • Commuter students strongly encouraged to eat outside, in Bear’s Den or in Rivers Auditorium.

  • Faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to eat outside or in their enclosed office space.

Please be mindful that there will be Safety Ambassadors in the University Commons reminding community members of these rules. Please respect and follow the instruction of our trained Safety Ambassadors.

Thank you very much for your support. We look forward to a successful and healthy semester. 


Jeanne Steffes