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1920-commons-dining-hall-in-coronavirus-spring-2020

RAGAs will be able to sign up for a 30-minute time slot to eat their meals inside 1920 Commons.

Credit: Amelia Sharpe

Penn will begin a four-day indoor dining pilot program for resident advisors and graduate associates on Thursday.

Penn Dining sent an email to all RAGAs on Wednesday evening, inviting them to partake in a new seating reservation system in which they will be able to sign up for a 30-minute time slot to eat their meals at 1920 Commons. The pilot program will begin at lunch on Thursday and run through dinner on Sunday. 

RAGAs will make meal reservations through the Penn Eats mobile ordering app, which they have already been using to order takeout meals since returning to on-campus housing

In the email, Penn Dining laid out a series of steps for RAGAs to follow when signing up for an indoor dining slot, though it did not specify how many diners would be allowed inside at one time.

Once they have made a reservation, RAGAs will receive an email containing a QR code that they will scan upon arrival at Commons. The QR code will serve as both a mechanism for checking in to the dining hall as well as charging a meal swipe.

After scanning in, RAGAs will receive a number corresponding to a table at which they will be required to sit. According to the email from Penn Dining, RAGAS "will collect [their] meals and then go to the seating area and show the table number to the staff member." 

A double-sided token — one red and one green — will be placed on each table. A green side facing up signifies the table has been cleaned and sanitized, while a red token means the table has yet to be cleaned. At the end of their meal, RAGAs will position the token with the red side facing up.

When the 30-minute time slot is up, RAGAs will receive another reminder through the Penn Eats app instructing them to leave through the designated exit.

"By assisting with this pilot, you are helping us to expand our dining services, while continuing to protect the health and safety of our community," the Penn Dining email read. 

The email made no mention of whether or not the system would continue after the four days or if it would carry over to a potential in-person spring semester.

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