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Find out what’s new around campus

By IU Bloomington Today

August 19, 2022

All the hallmarks of fall semester are upon us: Target’s aisles are full of mini-fridges and microwaves, campus parking lots are filled to capacity, and sidewalks and restaurants are once again teeming with college students.

IU Bloomington recently welcomed more than 7,500 students into its residence halls, and classes begin today, Aug. 22. As staff and faculty roll into a new school year, here’s a peek at what’s new on campus and a few reminders:

New food and plaza

A new plaza welcomes visitors across from Ernie Pyle Hall. Photo by Chris Meyer, Indiana Universi... A new plaza welcomes visitors across from Ernie Pyle Hall. Photo by Chris Meyer, Indiana UniversityThere are several changes to restaurants inside the Indiana Memorial Union, including:

  • Starbucks will now serve Nitro Cold Brew coffee.
  • Lantern, a Pan-Asian-style restaurant, will have fresh sushi available daily.
  • Quarry Pie Co. will serve cheese, pepperoni, sausage and veggie pizza by the slice; there is also a vegan pizza option.
  • The Mix, a choose-your-own salad and food bar, will also have continental breakfast items starting at 7 a.m. every day, including eggs, bacon, sausage, oatmeal, muffins, fried potatoes and fruit.
  • The Tudor Room’s Sunday brunch returned Aug. 21, and lunch is available weekdays.

Lauren Robel Plaza, across from Ernie Pyle Hall, opened this summer. The plaza provides a welcoming space where prospective students, their families and other visitors can gather for campus tours and other activities. The plaza also provides a visual connection for students and their families from the adjacent parking lot to the IU Admissions Welcome Center inside Ernie Pyle Hall.

With the ability to accommodate about 70 people, the plaza contains limestone seating walls, shade and ornamental trees, an ornamental fountain, and bicycle parking. Also included in the development of the plaza was the resurfacing of the adjacent parking lot and installation of improved lighting, subsurface drainage and sidewalks.

COVID-19 reminders

IU continues to closely monitor COVID-19 across the state and campus to ensure the health and safety of all students, faculty and staff. Here’s what you need to know:

  • A COVID-19 vaccine continues to be required for all students, faculty and staff, unless you have obtained an approved exemption.
  • If you choose to wear a mask, it’s recommended to wear the best mask possible. Free N95 masks are available in various locations on all IU campuses.
  • Starting this week, IU will have free at-home rapid tests available on campus.
  • There are also drop-off PCR test kits available in the circle drive breezeway at the IMU (24/7 vending machine); the McNutt center building (24/7 vending machine); and door #1 of the Student Health Center.

Additional information is available in an IU Today story.

License plate recognition

The Office of Parking Operations started its next phase of license plate recognition implementation over the summer. That means all vehicles parking on campus must park with their license plate facing the drive lane or street.

Do not back into or pull through parking spaces unless you have a state-issued front plate. You can purchase a special license plate for the front of your car from Parking Operations if your vehicle is registered with a state that only provides a rear plate, like Indiana.

Have questions or want to know more about how license plate recognition works? Visit the Parking Operations website.

New Campus Bus app

Campus Bus has a new app, called BusGenius, that allows for more accurate vehicle location and arrival forecasts. With the app, Campus Bus no longer needs to create bus schedules, since users can when a bus will arrive at their stop and what other stops are available nearby. The app is available for iPhone, for Android and on the web.

Kirkwood closure

Don’t forget: East Kirkwood Avenue — from Indiana Avenue to Dunn Street, from Dunn Street to Grant Street and the half-block east of Walnut Street to the alley — is closed through Oct. 31 to all east-west traffic. The closure allows for additional outdoor dining by various restaurants. North-south roads are open and still passable.