Student activities and dining options expand

The Somerset Room in the Warch Campus Center has been redesigned to facilitate limited student dining and gathering.

Photo by Sebastian Evans

Due to increasing COVID-19 cases in Appleton and Wisconsin, students are being urged even more to stay on campus and honor the pledge. In an effort to encourage this behavior, new on-campus dining options and activities are being implemented.

The new and upcoming events include guest presentations by comedians, opening certain rooms in the Warch Campus Center that can be reserved, food truck Fridays and online movie nights. In the Warch Campus Center, the Somerset Room has recently opened to allow students to study and eat while socially distanced. After using these newly opened study spaces, students are asked to use provided spray and paper towels to clean the surfaces they used. The Somerset Room is open daily from 7 a.m. until midnight, allowing 44 students to use the space. Additional information regarding upcoming activities could not be provided due to a lack of responses to interview requests.

In addition to new activities and spaces opening, new dining options are slowly rolling out. According to Bon Appètit manager, Julie Severance, the eventual goal is a return to more traditional dining options.

“I liken the reopening to a dial, not a switch,” Severance said. “The dial was set to a one when we returned to school – every day we try to move the dial closer to 10.” 

To continue “turning the dial,” many dining options are being expanded while following guidelines given by the Appleton Health Department and the Wisconsin Division of Food and Recreational Safety. Some of these expanded dining options include vegan pizza offerings every day in the Andrew Commons, reusable clamshell containers being offered and the Andrew Commons dining room opening for physically-distanced dining. 

Additionally, every Friday and Saturday night there will be a pop-up restaurant in The Café; every Wednesday, there will be ice cream with Stan in The Café; and on Reading Period days, Oct. 21 and Nov. 3, there will be special meals offered in the Andrew Commons. 

With these continuous additions to on-campus attractions, some off-campus students hope for additions as well. When discussing the growing options, freshman Samuel Schuler said, “As someone who wants to come on campus as soon as safely possible but also doesn’t want to feel isolated or alone, making sure there are activities available to socialize is very important to me. I hope Lawrence can help spur some events in the future concerning off-campus students, as the hardest part of off-campus life for me personally has been finding ways to socialize with other Lawrentians.”