Dining Hall: Questions and answers

Dining Locations

What is the plan for dining locations?

Dining Services will implement all coronavirus-safe practices and guidelines established by Kent State with the Flashes Safe Seven principles, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the state of Ohio and the local department of health. Students, faculty, staff and guests will see visual representations of our efforts, including signage, frequent sanitation methods, floor stickers and other turnkey solutions to promote social distancing.

Effective Sept. 18, and until further notice, all Kent Campus dining locations will serve take-out only. There will be no dine-in option at any Kent Campus dining location. This requirement was initiated because of Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s Sept. 17 announcement of Portage County’s COVID-19 Risk Level 3 Red status, as communicated by the Office of the Provost. The Kent Campus resides in Portage County, and as such, must adhere to the state's guidelines for counties at a COVID-19 Risk Level 3 status.

When will dining locations open?

Will dining options be open after Thanksgiving break?

Select dining locations will remain open after Thanksgiving break as the university moves to remote learning for classwork. If students decide to move home after the Thanksgiving break and will no longer be a resident on campus by following the process that will be communicated out by Residence Services, they will be eligible for a prorated room/dining credit for the unused contract dates for the fall semester. The credit will be applied to the student’s account. Dining location hours of operation can be found here: www.kent.edu/dining/hours.

Will there be gluten-free dining options?

Not only will there be a Gluten Solutions station at the new Design Innovation Building, but there is also a gluten-friendly station located in the other all-you-care-to-eat facility, Eastway Fresh Food Company. Items at the True Balance station in Eastway are made without seven of the top eight major allergens, including wheat, and also exclude all barley and rye products. This station is completely segregated from other stations and includes its own storage and preparation area. You can read more about this station here: https://www.kent.edu/dining/true-balance-station.

When on-campus dining locations resume operation, you will also be able to find our online menu system here: https://kent.campusdish.com/. This site will allow you to view menu items and their allergens, and it even lets you filter out all items containing gluten.

What other dining location updates should i know about?

On the Kent Campus, dining locations will offer  an enhanced selection of grab-and-go options. Both Eastway Center and our new Design Innovation Hub location will be available, as well as our all-you-care-to-eat facilities. Our retail locations, including our new Hippie Chick'n venue in the Kent Student Center Hub, will also be open. 


Safety Protocols

Do I need to wear a face covering in dining halls?

We expect students to follow the Flashes Safe Seven principles while in any public area of the dining locations to help reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus, such as when entering and exiting dining halls and in line ordering at other locations. Wearing a face covering is part of our Flashes Take Care of Flashes commitment!

What cleaning protocols will be in place in the dining locations?

While the university has always placed a priority on the cleaning of public spaces, including dining locations, maintaining a safe environment begins with our cleaning and sanitation process. We have enhanced our sanitation practices to protect our school environment.

There will be an emphasis on repeated cleaning of high-touch areas, such as door handles, tables, trays and other materials that are used frequently. Surfaces will be regularly sanitized with approved chemicals.

  • The university will provide ample hand sanitizer stations throughout dining facilities. In addition, self-service sanitizing stations will be stocked with supplies to provide students the opportunity to ensure personal spaces and surfaces are sanitized before using facilities in the dining facilities.
  • Standardized university signage will be installed throughout the dining locations that will help guide and direct students to ensure physical distancing standards are being followed.
  • To-go containers will also be available for guests who do not wish to dine in the dining halls.

What policy changes are occurring to help reduce the possible spread of the coronavirus?

To reduce the possible spread of the coronavirus, all students are expected to comply with the Flashes Safe Seven principles.

ACCESS THE FLASHES SAFE SEVEN ACCOUNTABILITY WEB PAGE
 

Dining Services will also have adjusted policies to limit seating capacity to ensure that there is space to practice physical distancing. Dining Services is working with student organizations for the specifics and will publish them once finalized.

Other practices to help reduce the possible spread of the coronavirus include:

  • Focusing on repeated cleaning of high-touch areas, such as door handles, tables, trays and other materials that are used frequently. Surfaces will be regularly sanitized with approved chemicals.
  • Providing hand sanitizer stations throughout student residence and dining facilities. In addition, self-service sanitizing stations will be stocked with supplies to provide students the opportunity to ensure that personal spaces and surfaces are sanitized before using facilities in the residence and dining facilities.
  • Installing standardized university signage throughout the campus that will help guide and direct students to ensure that physical distancing standards are being followed.

Meal Plan Logistics

Am I required to purchase a meal plan?

Per university policy, first-year and sophomore resident students are required to have a meal plan for the entire school year. First-year and sophomore resident students can pick from The Gold, The Kent or The Blue Meal Plan. Resident students will select a meal plan through FlashLine or the Student Checklist. 
 
Upperclass resident and commuter students are not required to purchase a meal plan, but they are welcome to do so through FlashLine. For more information about which meal plan you are eligible for and pricing, please visit our Meal Plan page. You can also contact the FLASHcard Office at 330-672-2273.

Can I change my meal plan from semester to semester?

Yes, students can switch meal plans from semester to semester. The meal plan options available to a student will depend on the student's class standing before the start of the school year.

Can I use my meal plan at off-campus locations?

Meal plans may only be used on campus at the university’s Dining Services locations. However, there are a number of off-campus locations that will accept FLASHcash. For more information about FLASHcash, please call the FLASHcard Office at 330-672-2273 or visit  www.kent.edu/flashcard.

What if I need to request to not have a meal plan?

If you are required to be on a meal plan and want to request a food contract release, you will need to contact Dining Services (UDSReports@kent.edu) and fill out a food contract release form.

  • If the request for canceling the meal plan is by the end of the Add/Drop period and there has been no usage of any part of the meal plan, the cancellation will be approved and a full refund will be processed.
  • If the request occurs after the Add/Drop period and within two business days of the purchase, the cancellation will be approved and a full refund will be processed.

Where will I be able to use my meal swipes?

You will be able to use meal swipes at Eastway Fresh Food Company and the Design Innovation Dining Hall. You can also use a meal swipe in the Meal Exchange program at Rosie's Diner, Eastway Market and George T. Simon III Cafe.

How does meal exchange work?

Using your FLASHcard, you will be able to exchange a meal swipe for a combo meal at Rosie’s Diner, Eastway Market or George T. Simon III Cafe. Meal exchange will be available at Rosie’s Diner, Eastway Market and George T. Simon III Cafe. You can use up to one meal swipe per meal period (breakfast, lunch, dinner, late-night, overnight). Visit our Meal Exchange page for more information and meal period hours. 

How am I billed for my fall 2020 meal plan?

Students who purchase a meal plan will receive a bill for the full semester costs once their meal plan purchase is processed. Students who have signed up for a meal plan should see the plan on their student bill already, or 48 hours after requesting a purchase.

If I decide not to purchase a meal plan for the fall, can I sign up for a meal plan in the spring?

The meal plan purchasing window will open for spring semester late in the fall semester. Watch www.kent.edu/dining for details.

What happens to my meal swipes, guest meals and declining balance dollars at the end of the semester?

At the end of each semester, any unused meal swipes and guest meals will expire. Any unused declining balance dollars will roll over to the next semester.

Can I cancel or change my meal plan purchase?

If you decide to purchase a meal plan and wish to change your selection, you may do so by visiting your Student Dashboard in FlashLine or by contacting the FLASHcard Office. Students are not able to change their meal plan after the second week of the semester.

  • A cancellation will be approved and a full refund will be processed if a student requests to cancel a meal plan by the Add/Drop period and there has been no usage of any part of the meal plan. 
  • A cancellation will be approved and a full refund will be processed if a student requests to cancel a meal plan after the Add/Drop period, but within two business days of the purchase.
  • Students who check out early in the fall term from Residence Services through the approved process will be eligible for a prorated meal plan refund. 

What if I have more questions about meal plans or dining?

If you have any other questions about meal plans, you can contact Dining Services by calling 330-672-2541 or by emailing dining@kent.edu.