by Sam Shirley, Staff Photographer
Dining has a different look this year in the North Dining Hall. Students are greeted with tables seating only two each in efforts to promote social distancing and reduce the spread of COVID-19.
This creates a different dining experience for many, including varsity pickleball team captain Damon Hayward. Hayward tells us, “We used to crowd all twenty of us around one table at lunch time in the dining hall. We were practically sitting on each other’s laps, but it made it easy for us to discuss last night’s game.”
This year things are different; “They want us to sit six feet away from each other,” says Hayward. “It’s ridiculous, how can we be cool and superior if we aren’t all together in our clique while we eat?”
However, the rules imposed by administration don’t always deter students from sitting together in large groups. Another team member, Nicole Arlington, told us, “So what? It’s a virus. Some people get sick. Some people die. It probably won’t be us, so I’m willing to take that chance to sit with my friends,” She went on to question, “What are they going to do? Send the police in to tell us that we can’t sit here?”
Regrettably, at this point our interview with the pickleball team was cut short by Campus Police arriving and dispersing the group. “Believe it or not, there’s more to our job than ensuring each student gets at least one parking ticket during their time at UMF,” stated Campus Police officer Gerald Beckett, when asked about enforcement of social distancing rules.
Fortunately, not all students share this sentiment about the new socially distanced dining. Fifth-year undergraduate Zachary Peebles stated, “I’ve always sat alone in the dining hall for the past four years anyways. This isn’t much different, except now I’m not the only one sitting alone.”
At press time, Facilities Management was last seen attaching weights to the chairs, so that if students insisted on moving them, they were at least getting in their daily workout at the same time.
*This article is a work of satire*