OSU facilities continue to provide for students, staff during winter break

Arnold Dining Center will be the only dining center open on campus during winter break. Arnold is located on the south end of the OSU campus.

Arianna Schmidt, News Contributor

Some campus locations decreasing operation hours during break. 

As students all over Oregon State University prepare their travel plans and packing lists for winter break, crews on campus are preparing for the month-long break. With winter approaching quickly, Building Services is adapting the campus to colder temperatures and icier conditions, University Housing and Dining Services is whipping up culturally-rich meals and multiple locations across the OSU campus are decreasing their regular business hours.

OSU offers numerous resources for students staying on campus during winter break. According to Kerry Paterson, director of residential dining and catering for UHDS, the number of students, as well as staff, that UHDS expects to stay on campus and eat in the dining halls vary throughout break.

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“The first couple of weeks we are expecting to have around 200 to 300 plus people eating with us for the lunch meal, (breakfast and dinners will be less),” Paterson said in an email. “But during the week between Christmas and New Year’s we will see the numbers reduce to possibly below 200 people per day. Christmas day we will have about 50 to 75 students and staff still dining with us.”

The Southside Station @ Arnold will be the available dining hall open to residents during the break, according to Paterson. The operation hours include Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday to Sunday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., with variation depending on the specific restaurant. Updated hours can always be found at food.oregonstate.edu.

“We will continue to offer the same great quality food as we do during the terms and as much variety as the business needs demand,” Paterson said in an email. “Our menus will continue to offer multiple choices at each meal period, as well as cater to a variety of dietary needs. Depending on the number of people staying on campus throughout the break, we will adjust the number of concepts open and our production levels so food waste can be controlled but still offer a balanced menu selection.”

Additionally, Arnold will be taking the time to celebrate various holidays over the break with specialized menus during breakfast, lunch and dinner, according to Paterson in an email. Hanukkah, celebrated Dec. 12 through 20, will be observed with festive breakfast and lunch offerings. Christmas day has dinner plans for prime rib and turkey, and Kwanzaa, from Dec. 26 through Jan. 1, will be noted with parts of the menu serving various Southern, African and Caribbean cuisines.

“After Jan. 2, our numbers will steadily increase as the students make their way back to campus,” Paterson said in an email. “We will be more or less back to business as normal across campus in all 3 dining centers by Sunday, Jan. 7 by the evening.”

According Heather Stinger, a Memorial Union Building Help Desk consultant, the MU will be open Dec. 11 through 22, Dec. 26 through 29 and Jan. 2 through 5 from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The building will be closed every weekend of December and the first weekend of January, as well as for Christmas and New Year’s, but resume normal operating hours beginning Monday, Jan. 8.

“Special measures we at Building Services are taking to prepare for winter break include evaluating all heating and cooling equipment,” Stinger said in an email. “We’ll access inventory of all De-Icer, (a liquid that is sprayed before it freezes to prevent ice from growing) and Ice Melt, (a product that melts ice and adds traction to surfaces once ice does grow) to prevent slips, trips and falls. We apply this to all the exterior entry ways, stairs, etc..”

According to Robyn Jones, the Memorial Union Retail Food Service director, MURFS takes into consideration the amount of students and staff leaving for the holidays, as well as the number staying on campus, and determines the optimal plan for the university. 

“We close several of our locations in order to save on food and labor costs and perform routine maintenance and cleaning we might not be able to accomplish during the academic period,” Jones said in an email. “This also allows students the opportunity to continue to work for us while they stay in Corvallis and allow others to travel or go home to be with family.”

Housekeeping on campus includes electrical and network installation at E.Cafe, a fresh coat of paint at Dixon and new equipment installed at Ava’s, according to Jones. Building maintenance goes into deep cleaning mode during shut downs or reduced hours for necessary fixes. Restaurants also take advantage of the small crowds and limited hours to experiment with new dishes, Jones added.

“Some managers elect to try new menu items during the slow times to solicit feedback from customers and play around with new products,” Jones said in an email. “This gives them a chance to see if something will work in their location and allows customers to try new things.”

In addition to dining options that will be open during the winter break, other services will also be available and open on campus those will be staying in Corvallis.

According to Jim Gouveia, a licensed clinical social worker and staff counselor at Counseling and Psychological Services, CAPS is open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and has a 24/7 after-hours number. The number students can call is the line for making appointments, but around-the-clock counseling with a licensed therapist is available even in the late hours of the night if needed. CAPS will be closed Christmas and New Year’s Day this year, Gouveia added.

“It’s a little bit slower around here because most of the students are gone,” Gouveia said. “But some students are still here and hang around, so we still see students, but we don’t really do any groups during break, but we do intakes. We do have a waitlist and so we try to whittle down on the waitlist a bit so we can get a fresh start in the new term.”

Moreover, commonly-used spots on campus are changing to special holiday hours over the winter break to accommodate the employees in those places. The main Student Health Services clinic in the Plageman building will only have its urgent care and gynecology division open from Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to noon. The SHS clinics inside of Tebeau Hall and Dixon Recreation Center will be closed for break and will resume business as usual beginning Monday, Jan. 8 at 8 a.m..

The Valley Library will be closed on the weekends, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day but is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dixon Recreation Center and its surrounding sports facilities are all closed Christmas Eve and Day, as well as New Year’s Day, but will continue to be open weekdays 6 a.m. to midnight, Saturday 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to midnight. McAlexander Fieldhouse will be closed Dec. 9 through January 6, but will resume regular hours on Sunday, Jan. 7 at 10 a.m.