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As dining halls, Murray-Dodge Café return to in-person, students express anticipation

<h6><strong>Mark Dodici / The Daily Princetonian</strong></h6>
Mark Dodici / The Daily Princetonian

As Princeton enters the second week of the semester, Campus Dining is resuming in-person dining services on Monday, Jan. 31, according to an email to all undergraduate students on Jan. 29. This will replace the current “grab-and-go” rules that have been in place since Jan. 9, although take-out options will continue to be available. 

In the same Jan. 29 email, the University announced that “students will be permitted to eat in the Dining Halls, lowering or removing their masks while they eat and replacing them around others when they are not actively eating or drinking.”

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Other dining options also are set to re-open after temporary COVID-19 restrictions were put into place in mid-December. Coffee Club opened on Jan. 24 and Frist Campus Center Gallery is set to re-open beginning this week.

In an email sent on Jan. 30, Murray-Dodge Café announced it is set to open on Jan. 31 — the same day that dining halls were resume in-person operations — and will serve grab-and-go cookies.

Coffee Club opened on Jan. 24 for to-go coffee and pastries. All other retail locations —  aside from the C-Store and Witherspoon’s, which remained open through January — will open on Feb. 7. 

In addition, the Frist Gallery will be open on Jan. 31 providing late meal for students after lunch from 2:00–3:45 p.m. and after dinner from 8:30–10 p.m. 

In an interview with The Daily Princetonian, Quinn Haverstick ’25 said Frist Gallery food options are important to him as a student.

“I think it is good that late meal is opening up because a lot of people cannot make normal meal hours. It is important that they have access to food,” Haverstick said.

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Another student Mia Medic ’25 expressed that she does not have a “formal lunch time” and has resorted to unhealthy practices as a result of the past week’s limited dining options.

“Sometimes, I have to skip meals because the dining hall schedule does not align with my schedule,” Medic noted. “I found myself having to spend my money on overpriced Nassau food.” 

Alexandra Wong ’25, pointed out that Frist Food Gallery is a “community space.”

“It is a place for friends to gather and share experiences,” she said in an interview with the ‘Prince.’ 

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Aminah Aliu ’25, who works at Murray-Dodge baking cookies, spoke to the ‘Prince’ and said she feels comfortable returning to work at the café.

“I feel safe going back to work there because for the most part everyone has their mask on and there are signs around the building reminding people to keep their masks up,” she said.

Aliu also expressed that there is “ample room to social distance if [she] wanted to.”

Aidan Iacobucci is a news staff writer for the ‘Prince.’ He can be reached at iacobucci@princeton.edu or @aidaniaco on Instagram.

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