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Dining is the name of the game at former gym
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Students join the discussions on how Bartlett can best serve its hungry clientele.

Adding to the general din of campus construction are spirited discussions about how best to set up Bartlett Gymnasium when it reopens as a dining commons in fall 2001. The question at hand: la carte or traditional all-you-can-eat buffet?

"The problem with la carte is that it screws up the house table system," says Carolyn Chong, '01, the Magazine's student assistant and a member of the Inter-House Council (IHC), which has been discussing the logistics of Bartlett dining this fall. Many students have expressed concerns that a "grab-and-go" plan could damage the sense of community that students develop by sharing daily meals with their housemates. "But because of where it is, Bartlett's also going to end up accommodating a lot of upperclassmen who eat on campus during the day, and that's where la carte is going to work best," says Chong.

Though the final decision won't be announced until spring, it is shaping up to be a hybrid of the two options: traditional all-you-can-eat during breakfast and dinner and la carte for lunch. Student surveys and focus groups have helped steer the administration in choosing the dining plan, menu, and layout. Students on the Dining Advisory Board meet monthly with administrators and discuss "big-picture issues." "The house system is something we are extremely sensitive to and will monitor very closely," says Stephen Klass, deputy dean of housing and dining services and assistant dean of the College. "House tables will be instituted immediately upon opening [Bartlett next fall]."

The official dining hall for the Max Palevsky Residential Commons, Bartlett will seat 550 students. The layout calls for an archipelago of food stations serving everything from "comfort" foods like meat loaf and rotisserie chicken to pan-Asian fare, including stir-fry, tandoori, and sushi. A multi-ethnic island will offer Caribbean, Mexican, and Greek cuisine, and there will be a vegan section and a brick oven for pizza.

As for the looks of the 96-year-old structure, not much will change. The carved wooden staircase, stained-glass window, and entryway mural will remain, as will the suspended track. The entire space and stone exterior is being cleaned and restored.
- S.A.S.


  DECEMBER 2000

  > > Volume 93, Number 2


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