Reservations for outdoor spaces on campus have increased in recent weeks as the weather warms and more Carleton community members reach full vaccination status. Using Carleton’s online reservation portal, The Carletonian gathered data on weekly reservations for outdoor spaces—including typical social spaces such as Mai Fete and the Hill of Three Oaks, as well as sites like the campus tents, Anderson amphitheater and the Bald Spot.
Our analysis found that reservations are up for Eighth and Ninth Weeks, driven mostly by increased usage of the tents in the Chapel parking lot and next to the old Music and Drama building—sites that are likely to see use for class meetings and college-sponsored events. Meanwhile, Third through Sixth Weeks saw a steady increase in reservations of Mai Fete, the Hill of Three Oaks and the Council Ring, while other sites remained steady.
Reservations are already strong for Tenth Week, with more time still left to reserve. Looking backward, the first two weeks of the term saw only a few reservations, mostly for Mai Fete and Hill of Three Oaks. During First Week, extremely lengthy reservations for these sites on weekend afternoons and evenings suggested an attempt to block students from reserving at these times to respect the lay-low period. We did not include these apparent blocking-off reservations in our data.
The recent rise in space usage coincides with increased vaccination rates in the Carleton community, as well as a new campus policy that masks do not need to be worn outdoors for individuals and small groups. Masks remain required indoors except in designated eating areas. Currently, 84% of Carleton students, staff, faculty and contractors have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, while 77% have received all doses in their series, according to the college’s COVID-19 dashboard. These figures also include community members who are off-campus.
Outdoor spaces continue to have lowered capacity limits due to the pandemic. The reservation portal states that Mai Fete, Hill of Three Oaks and the Council Ring are limited to 15 individuals. The Music and Drama tent can fit 30 people while the Chapel tent is capped at 15.