Shively Court’s dining hall capabilities will remain inactive despite Ohio University’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
Renovations were done in 2018 to the hall, funded by OU Culinary Services, according to a previous Post report. The dining area has been in and out of closures since then, resulting in the space having few different purposes.
Shively Court has been closed since the 2020 academic year according to a previous Post report. That decision was made due to low enrollment before the pandemic. The dining hall then made its final appearance in January 2021 for Grab n’ Go meals for students and was later closed down again.
The dining hall space is currently being used for asymptomatic COVID-19 testing for the OU campus through Vault Health. The center is meant for students, faculty or staff who chose the weekly testing pathway this semester. The testing will continue into the Fall Semester and throughout the continuing pandemic.
The future of the East Green dining hall will be determined through an evaluation of the needs of the university, Jim Sabin, a university spokesperson, said.
The OU COVID-19 vaccine mandate deadline is Nov. 15. Students, faculty and staff are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by that date.
“Tests are also available for any student, faculty or staff who want to test pre-travel or for vaccinated students, faculty and staff who want to get tested so we can monitor for breakthrough cases,” Sabin said in an email.
Although the dining hall is being put to use in other ways, students have criticized the use of the building.
“It kind of sucks that they took our dining hall. Couldn't they have taken over a building that wasn’t literally a dining hall?” Delaney Routte, a freshman studying psychology and Shively Hall resident, said. “I heard it was the best.”
Students in the past enjoyed the convenience of the Shively dining hall. Vinny Ramundo, a senior studying political science and a former reporter for The Post, said it was easy for East Green residents to access Shively Court.
Despite that, the university will continue to use the space for asymptomatic COVID-19 testing, but the timeframe for that is still unknown.
“The response to the pandemic is constantly changing as the situation evolves, so it’s impossible to know exactly how long we will need to use this space for testing,” Sabin said in an email.
Although the length of the pandemic is unpredictable, students who experienced the dining hall still remain hopeful for the reopening of Shively Court for underclassmen.
“It would be nice for it to be back, I would imagine, for underclassmen in the future,” Ramundo said.