The colorful sunburst chairs returned to the Wisconsin Memorial Union on Wednesday, signaling the start of Terrace season.
The Terrace is operating at a 25 percent capacity and seating is only available to UW students, faculty and staff. The seating limitation is due to the Badger Badge program, Wisconsin Union Communications Director Shauna Breneman said in an email to The Badger Herald.
“We are following public health guidelines, including local guidelines and campus health and safety measures, all of which have guided the creation of our operations practices,” Breneman said. “We are working with campus colleagues to determine when access expansion can occur.”
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The Wisconsin Union has instituted many additional efforts for health and safety amidst COVID-19 aside from the usual rigorous cleaning and sanitation practices, Breneman said. Such efforts include mostly cashless payments, ensuring physical distancing with reduced seating, table self-cleaning stations, the requirement of face coverings for all Union team members and guests when not dining, contactless ordering through kiosks and online ordering and floor markers for physical distancing in lines at dining units.
Graduation weekend updates and additional opening dates for summer 2021 will be put on the Memorial Union website as they become available, according to Breneman.
Many students voiced excitement about the reopening of the Terrace, including UW sophomore Emma Neale who said she was “stoked” to enjoy sunsets on the lake and to use the Terrace as a study and dining spot. UW freshman Izzy Fawcett said for students during the COVID-19 pandemic, the reopening is particularly significant.
“I’m so excited that the terrace is opening because it’s so important that students get outside in the fresh air for a change of pace,” Fawcett said. “Especially during COVID, I think students should get outdoors as much as possible to improve their mental wellbeing.”
The Wisconsin Union and UW Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Lori Reesor celebrated Terrace season with free brats on Wednesday. Many students showed up to the brat stand and ate on the Terrace for the first time in months.
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UW sophomore Nicole Glesinger said the Terrace has always been one of her favorite places to hang out with class friends and study.
“I went to the Union yesterday when they were putting out the chairs,” Glesinger said. “At the end of the day they gave out free food which was really fun and I ate with my friend from Spanish class who I haven’t seen in a long time.”
UW freshman Ellie Macksood made a statement echoing the thoughts of many members of the Madison community across campus.
“It’s officially spring when the Terrace is open,” Macksood said.