Northwestern to close some dining halls this fall, Compass Group to lay off about 100 staff members


Daily file photo by Evan Robinson-Johnson

To visit any dining hall on campus, students have to make reservations, which are spaced out in 15-minute intervals and have a cap of 40 to 50 students each.

Isabelle Sarraf, Campus Editor

Northwestern plans to open fewer dining locations this fall because of last week’s decision to bring fewer students on campus than originally anticipated, according to a University spokesperson.

The University plans to open Allison and Sargent dining halls, the spokesperson said, along with a few retail locations in the Norris University Center — including Starbucks, MOD Pizza, the C-Store and Viet Nom Nom — and Lisa’s Cafe at Slivka Residential College.

Due to the closing of some dining locations, such as Elder and Foster-Walker Complex, Compass Group, the University’s food service provider, plans to lay off about 100 staff members who had been recalled from layoffs to return for Fall Quarter. These layoffs will become permanent on Sept. 20, the spokesperson said.

“We regret that Compass must let go of workers who have been an important part of our campus community, and we look forward to a day when we can more fully staff our dining halls and retail outlets,” the spokesperson said.

On Thursday, Students Organizing for Labor Rights posted on their Instagram account in support of NU dining workers who have now been let go again after being rehired. They wrote that NU and Compass “keep giving false hope” and then abandoning their workers amid the pandemic.

As of Sunday, SOLR has distributed over $80,000 in mutual aid funds to over 200 workers in need, according to an Instagram post. However, they wrote that they still have outstanding requests from over 40 workers, with more coming in each day, in need of necessities like rent, groceries and medicine.

“This is yet another attack on the dining workers who were furloughed in March, laid off in late July and given the false hope they could return to work in September,” SOLR wrote. “We must take care of each other because Northwestern and Compass will not.”

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Twitter: @isabellesarraf

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