Opinions & Features Workshop (Oct 26th)

Photo by ShangNong Hu

Changes in MacHall meant to keep students safe

By Mitali Pradhan, September 23 2020—

University of Calgary students returning to campus for classes can expect several changes applied to MacHall food vendors. These changes incorporate protocols to keep students and workers in MacHall safe in light of COVIDovid-19. Rent was not charged to vendors in MacHall April through August, and September will be the first month that vendors will be charged again.

La Prep, a quick-service restaurant chain, used to have a location in MacHall. The tenants who ran the La Prep location have switched to a Poke food concept instead. While the tenants remain the same, the new restaurant will serve a different variety of food and beverages. All other vendors in MacHall have remained the same for the time being.

Photo by Mariah Wilson

In addition to vendor changes, MacHall food court is also incorporating safety measures such as social distancing. The capacity of the building has been reduced by approximately 70 per cent. Seating has been moved, blocked off, or removed altogether in line with physical spacing changes. In addition, there is also directional signage and extra hand sanitizer locations as safety measures. As with other University of Calgary buildings, students will be required to wear masks unless they are eating or drinking.   

“The first priority for me and for the rest of the Students’ Union has been the safety of students while together in this building, while still being able to provide them the options for the food and goods that are in MacHall,“ stated Frank Finley, the president of the University of Calgary’s Students’ Union.   

Signs indicating social distancing can be seen throughout MacHall. // Photo by ShangNong Hu.

Protocols set by the Alberta Health Services and the Ministry of Labor lay out standards for personal safety and what is required for individuals working or cooking in food serving locations. These protocols are followed by vendors in MacHall.

“I would encourage anybody in MacHall to observe social distancing,” stated Finely. “We have done everything within our power to provide a safe experience for people accessing goods and services within MacHall.”


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