Every day the chili grew stronger, hotter. The challenge this past week at UND dining halls was to see whether you could eat it Friday, on the last day.

Some did. Some didn’t care.

In these days of precaution against coronavirus, all students in the dining rooms at UND are masked. There is a 6-foot separation rule for dining.

“We’d like all the precautions to be gone, but we have to be safe," said Jeff St. Michel, assistant director, adding that students have been able to manage the 6-foot separation rule. “They seem to do it easily now as a routine."

“We do roughly 1,600 to 1,800 a day,” St. Michel said of the larger dining room. And at the smaller Squires dining room, where only 98 can be seated at one time, he said there are 600 to 700 meals served each day.

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In the serving area, there is Plexiglass separation and hand sanitizer. Still, students can make choices and serve themselves.

“It is still like a buffet,” St. Michael said.

Choices are found in a vast array of food ranging from chicken to pizza. Noodles and quiche. Tailgating food, Alaskan seafood.

And there’s a Halloween Spooktacular with a hocus pocus theme coming up from 4:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29.

There’s a wide range of prices for those who eat regularly at UND. Samantha Weddell, a sophomore from Minot, lives off campus. But she has a block meal plan with a flat rate of $800 to $900. Her favorite stop is the salad bar, where she finds sandwiches, soup, yogurt. She says she definitely does not go hungry.

Though students are not required to contract for meals, many of them do. Costs range from $350 to $2,500 a semester.

Report card

What: Squires and Wilkerson Dining Centers at UND

When: 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. weekdays

Reach Marilyn Hagerty at mhagerty@gra.midco.net or by telephone at (701) 772-1055.