Frequently Asked Questions
Spring 2021 Update - 3/25/2021
The following FAQs are as of March 25, 2021. For the latest information on Princeton University’s revised plan for the 2020-21 academic year, announced on November 24, 2020, please visit the Spring 2021 website.
For student arrival welcome resources, please visit the Campus Dining Welcome Resources - Spring 2021 page.
These FAQs are intended to address questions we anticipate regarding campus dining for the Spring 2021 semester. However, the information provided in these FAQs is subject to change depending on legal requirements issued by federal, state, and local governments, as well as guidance issued by public health experts and relevant University policies.
- Which dining halls will be open during the spring 2021 term?
All undergraduate dining halls, the Center for Jewish Life, and the Graduate College will be open for the spring semester, subject to state mandates and guidance in effect at the time.
- What are the operational hours for the dining halls?
Undergraduate Residential Dining Halls
Breakfast: 7:30–10 a.m.
Breakfast at Whitman: 7–10 a.m.
Lunch: 11 a.m.–2 p.m.
Dinner: 5–8 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday
Brunch: 10 a.m.–2 p.m.
Dinner: 5–8 p.m.
Center for Jewish Life
Breakfast: 8:15–9:15 a.m.
Lunch: 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.
Dinner: 5:30–7:30 p.m.
Breakfast: 8:15–9:15 a.m.
Lunch: 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.
*Shabbat RSVP only. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Closed – Shabbat meals only
Brunch: 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.
Dinner: 5:30–7 p.m.
*Friday & Saturday dinner hours are based on sundown & service times.
Lunch: 11:30 a.m.–2 p.m.
Dinner: 5–8 p.m. Continental breakfast for the next day will be picked up during dinner.
Saturday and Sunday
Brunch: 11 a.m.–2 p.m. Continental breakfast for the next day will be picked up during brunch.
- Who will have access to the dining halls?
Dining hall access will be restricted to residential college staff who are working on campus with the approval of the University and to students who live on campus or who have been approved by the University to be on campus, provided they adhere to all University policies aimed at minimizing the spread of COVID-19, including participation in the mandatory Monitoring and Testing Program.
- Can I eat in any dining hall?
Undergraduate students are permitted to eat in any undergraduate dining hall and the Center for Jewish Life (CJL), but we encourage students to dine in the dining hall closest to their dorm. Seating and meal service capacity in each dining hall, tent, and CJL are limited. Heated tents are available for dining and are located at Butler/First just outside of Wu Hall, Blair/Joline, and Frist South Lawn. To comply with New Jersey requirements and guidance, meal access may be limited to specific dining halls.
Graduate students may pick up meals from any dining hall, but are encouraged to dine in Procter Hall when choosing to dine-in. Seating and meal service capacity in Procter Hall and the heated tent just outside of the Graduate College are limited. To comply with New Jersey requirements and guidance, meal access may be limited to specific dining halls.
- Will seating in the dining halls be limited? If yes, where will I be able to eat my meal if there are no seats in the dining hall?
Limited indoor seating will be available in the dining halls. If there are no seats available in the dining hall, you may take your meal and eat in one of the Campus Dining tents on campus, as long as seating is available. If seating is no longer available in the dining hall or tent, food must be eaten elsewhere.
- Will there be a way to determine if a dining hall is crowded before walking there?
Sensors have been installed at entryways and exits of open dining halls to provide anonymous, real-time counts of people present in the dining halls. To view real-time occupancy in all of our dining halls visit density.princeton.edu.
- Who is the Campus Dining point of contact for each dining hall?
- What are the extra safety precautions being taken at the dining halls?
Meals will be available for takeout. Campus Dining staff will pre-package meals, there is no self-service.
Per University policy, all students, faculty, and staff who will have access to the dining halls and serveries are required to wear a face covering (cloth or disposable mask without an exhalation valve) that covers their nose and mouth (see https://ehs.princeton.edu/FaceCoveringsPolicy.html).
Social distancing guidelines will be strictly observed by Campus Dining staff and social distancing decals will be placed on the premises. Students and other dining hall users must also adhere to social distancing rules.
Sensors have been installed at entryways and exits of open dining halls to provide anonymous, real-time counts of people present in the dining halls. Please check the Density website for current real-time traffic in the dining halls.
Staff will be sanitizing areas within the dining halls on a regular basis, throughout the day.
- Will students living in Spelman be able to cook in their kitchens?
Absent a change in applicable state guidance, we expect that students living in Spelman will be able to cook in the kitchen within their suite.
- If I live in Spelman, how can I purchase a meal plan?
Students living in Spelman who wish to purchase a meal plan should contact email@example.com.
- How will the dining halls accommodate the student body, given that the eating clubs and co-ops are closed?
Hours, menus, and style of service are being reviewed to ensure that the invited student population can dine safely. All dining halls will be open and all undergraduates living on campus will be required have a meal plan with the exception of students living in Spelman.
- Will I be required to purchase a meal plan?
All undergraduate students residing on campus during the spring semester will be required to be on a meal plan with the exception of students living in Spelman.
- I will be living off campus in the Princeton area, participating in the testing program and signing the Social Contract; can I purchase a meal plan?
Yes, you can purchase a meal plan if you complete the UHS Risk Assessment and COVID-19 Training Module, sign the Social Contract, and participate in the mandatory testing program. The meal plan will go into effect Feb. 1, 2021.
- What meal plans will be available?
Undergraduates who are on campus during the spring (other than students living at Spelman) will be enrolled in a meal plan that will allow one swipe per meal.
Graduate students living in the Graduate College may choose between the Graduate Block 105 meal plan that allows one swipe per meal and the Graduate-All-Meal-Plan that offers one swipe per meal. The 6-meal program for graduate students has been suspended for the spring.
For more information, please visit https://dining.princeton.edu/meal-plans.
- What will be the housing and dining costs?
The housing charge is $5240 and the meal plan charge is $2750.
- When do Meal Plans start and end?
Meal plans will begin on February 1 and end on May 14. For information on meals prior to February 1, see the “Arrival Quarantine Period” FAQ section.
- When should I expect to receive a dining contract?
Students will receive their dining contract with their housing contracts.
- I’m an undergraduate student returning to campus. If I accept a housing contract, then find out that I will not be able to come to campus, will I still be charged and receive a full refund of any deposit or fees?
If you are an undergraduate student returning to campus who finds out that you will not be able to come to campus after accepting a housing contract you can cancel your contract. You will not be charged for room and board and will receive a full refund of any deposit or fees. If you decide to cancel your contract after you have occupied your room you will be eligible for a prorated weekly refund of room and board charges until April 3, 2021. No refunds will be available after April 3, 2021.
- Will Kosher food be available during the spring semester?
Yes, the Center for Jewish Life will be open.
- Will halal meal options be available?
Yes, halal options will be available in the residential dining halls and at the Frist Food Gallery.
- Are guest meals allowed?
To comply with social distancing guidelines and to prevent overcrowding, guests will not be allowed in the dining halls.
- Will the Two-meal program be active?
The Two-meal program has been suspended for the semester.
- Will late meals be available?
Late meals have been suspended for the semester.
- What will the menu options be?
For each meal, a daily, rotating menu with limited offerings will be served. The same menus will be available across all of the residential dining halls and will be served by Campus Dining team members. There will be no self-service. The menus are being written by the Campus Dining culinary team and specific details will follow at a later time.
When available, menus can be found on our website, here.
- What if I have a food allergy or special dietary need?
If you have a food allergy or a special dietary need, please contact Campus Dining at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- How do I communicate my dietary needs related to cultural and religious sensitivities?
Each dining hall has a culinary team who takes pride and passion in preparing nutritious meals for each member of the Princeton community. If you have questions or concerns, please reach out to Campus Dining by emailing email@example.com.
- Will off-campus eating clubs and dining coops be open?
The off-campus eating clubs plan to remain closed. Read the Dec. 1 eating club statement for more information. Student dining coops will also be closed. All students residing on campus, with the exception of residents of Spelman Hall, will be required to purchase a meal plan.
- What retail cafes will be open?
Witherspoon’s at the Frist Campus Center will be open daily from 8 a.m.–10:30 p.m.
- Will the Food Gallery be open?
The Food Gallery at Frist Campus Center is now open Monday through Friday with a limited grill menu.
Lunch: 11 a.m.–4 p.m.
Dinner: 4–8 p.m.
Self-Quarantine and Isolation (During Semester)
- If I have to self-quarantine how will I receive my meals?
Students who need to quarantine will remain in their assigned room throughout the quarantine period. Students will be able to pick up lunch, dinner, and breakfast meals at a designated location in proximity to their dorm. Location and times will be communicated to students.
- If I have to self-isolate how will I receive my meals?
Students who need to isolate will be housed in dorms that are designated for isolation. Meals will be delivered to the students’ designated rooms during the self-isolation period.
FAQs updated March 25, 2021.