McCormick plans conversionBy Michael J. Garrison
McCormick Hall residents voted last Thursday to switch from Commons to `a la carte dining, according to McCormick Dining Committee member Karen K. Lee '86. The committee intends to ask MIT Housing and Food Services to implement the changes over spring vacation.
The vote, which had a 97 percent turnout, was 95 percent in favor of `a la carte, Lee said. Three quarters of those who voted for `a la carte also requested the change take place this semester.
"It's not 100 percent definite" that Housing and Food Service will make the switch by April, Lee admitted, but she said Housing and Food Services Associate Director Lawrence E. Maguire had earlier acknowledged the possibility. Maguire is on vacation this week and could not be reached for comment.
Changing from Commons to `a la carte requires some physical changes in the dining hall, according to Judith M. Douglis, executive officer of residence and campus activities. "Everything has to be behind the cashier," she explained.
McCormick Dining Hall Manager Paula R. Bragger said the modifications would include relocating the cash register and centralizing the operations.
Lee said McCormick has the fewest physical changes to make of all the Commons halls.
MacGregor House made only minor changes when it switched to `a la carte over IAP, Douglis said. Next House was designed with `a la carte in mind.
Baker House, which voted this term to remain on Commons with some modifications, will be the only residence hall on Commons after McCormick switches to `a la carte.
Both Lee and Bragger anticipated increased usage of the dining hall. "I think a lot of people tend to use points elsewhere," Lee said, "because residents are going somewhere else for `a la carte."
Average crowds at McCormick are 100 for breakfast, 150 for lunch, and 175 to 200 for dinner, according to Bragger. "I expect it to go up," he added.
The vote was organized by the McCormick Dining Committee, which consists of Lee and Karen J. Baker '86. The MacGregor and Baker decisions were also made by in-house organizations, Douglis said.