Restarting Binghamton: Campus dining options and updates for the fall

How Binghamton University will provide a safe campus dining experience for students, faculty and staff

Dining halls will have one clearly marked entrance and exit Image Credit: Jonathan Cohen.
Dining halls will have one clearly marked entrance and exit
Dining halls will have one clearly marked entrance and exit Photography: Jonathan Cohen.

As Binghamton University prepares to reopen for the new school year, dining on campus will look different than normal.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Binghamton University Dining Services (BUDS) will be operating in accordance with New York state’s food service guidelines to ensure a safe dining experience for all of our students, faculty and staff.

Be sure to visit Binghamton University’s dining website and follow them on Instagram to keep up to date with any changes.

Here’s what you can expect this fall:

Grab-and-go meals

All resident and retail dining meals and menu selections will be pre-packaged, making your food easily ready for takeout. Special dietary options, such as vegan, vegetarian and allergen-friendly meals, will still be available. Contact the BUDS registered dietitians with any dietary questions or concerns.

Dining halls

Dining facilities have been reconfigured to ensure proper social distancing. The C4, College-in-the-Woods and Appalachian dining halls will have one clearly marked entry point and one clearly marked exit point. With the help of floor signage, lines will be queued to maintain social distancing between customers. A greeter will be present to control the entry to the serving area, and stations will have food and beverage attendants who will control the maximum capacity for each station as well. Self-service condiment, food and beverage stations will be discontinued.

What’s open?

All of your favorite campus dining locations will be open. Hours of operation for all of our dining options for move-in and the first week of classes can already be found on the web. You can also use the What’s Open Now tool to see dining options that are open in real time.

How busy?

Occupancy trackers will give real-time information on how busy each dining hall is. You can view this information on the “What’s Open Now” feature on the dining website. Each location will be marked Not Busy, Somewhat Busy or Busy.

Seating

While everyone is encouraged to get their meals for takeout, there will be limited seating available in dining halls and retail dining areas to ensure social distancing. These seating areas can accommodate 25% of normal capacity. There will also be an outdoor, tented seating area at the C4 Dining Hall.

Masks

All students and customers will be required to wear face masks except while eating. All dining employees will also be wearing face masks and proper PPE.

Payment

All cashier stations will now offer touchless payment options, and mobile-ordering and pay options will be available for retail dining areas through the Bite app (see below). Plexiglass barriers have been installed at the cashier stations, and social distancing will be enforced at both the cashier and food pick-up areas.

Health and safety

All dining employees will complete a health monitoring checklist before their shift, and any employees exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, or having recently been exposed to someone with COVID-19, will not be permitted to work. All major touch points in dining facilities will be cleaned and sanitized every hour by staff specifically tasked with sanitation, and hand sanitizer stations will be available throughout dining facilities.

The BITE app

Wondering what’s for dinner? Download our new Bite app to quickly access daily menus and nutritional information, allowing you to pre-plan your trip to the dining hall. The Bite app also allows you to pre-order your retail (not dining hall) meals, so all you have to do is go and pick up your food!

What if I’m quarantined?

On-campus students who are quarantining in University-provided facilities will have meals delivered to them and charged to their meal plan. Off-campus students in University-provided quarantine facilities with a University dining commuter meal plan can also have meal delivery provided.

The Chenango Room

The Chenango Room will not have wait service this fall, but will offer carry-out options. There will be special meal plan pricing for the convenience of students with meal plans.

Leftover spring 2020 dining dollars

Did you still have dining dollars left on your meal plan from the spring? You may be eligible to roll your dollars over to your current plan or receive a refund depending on your plans for this fall. If you have a large carryover balance from the spring, you may want to consider a smaller meal plan for the fall semester. Visit this page for more information and options. Meal plan changes can be made using BU BRAIN, and must be made by Sept. 11.