U.S. News & World Report interviewed Augsburg University Dean of Students Sarah Griesse for a recent article, “Paying for Meals at College: What to Know About Costs.” In her comments, Griesse reflected on Augsburg’s Community Meals program, implemented in Fall 2020. During a period of increased isolation due to the pandemic, the program allowed small groups to reserve a place in the dining hall, plan a special menu in advance, and build community over a meal with real plates, utensils, and glassware.
“We saw the dramatic impact that COVID was having on mental health,” Griesse said in the article. “Students feeling isolated and not finding places to see and connect with others. … (Community Meals) made a difference in how people felt. The experience felt familiar, welcoming and engaging.”