What is the new meal plan?
Meal plan is changing from this year to next year. Instead of using declining balance at all dining locations, students will purchase a meal plan that has a specific amount of buffet swipes which will only be available for use at Garden Commons, Martin Dining Hall, Harris Dining Hall, and Western Dining Hall. With these changes buffet location will be open continuously meaning they will no longer close between meal times, giving students time to eat around their busy schedules. The meal plan levels include a certain number of declining balance, which can be used at a la carte dining locations like Armstrong, Bell Tower, and Maple Street. While the number of buffet swipes is predetermined, students will still be able to add on declining balance at anytime throughout the semester. Declining balance will also continue to roll over from semester to semester, while buffet swipes will only be valid for the semester they are purchased. For more information, see the Meal Plan Reform Presentation.
Why is it changing?
Dining has heard many complaints about the $1,625 Diplomat Fee over the years. After doing research on what other universities are doing, a new meal plan was created in response. To get rid of this fee, the discounts that students currently get at dining locations will also be gone. However, the discounts were only there because students had previously paid the $1,625 fee. In reality, students didn’t save any money with the discounts, because the money saved never added up to $1,625. With the new meal plan, the price students see will be the price students pay.
How is ASG involved?
ASG has wanted to reform the meal plan for some time because the $1,625 fee was something the senators had heard concerns about for a long time. Dining spoke to a small group of senators to make sure the student voice was heard. However, after hearing the new meal plan, ASG senate felt that this new meal plan would force students to buffet locations and is not exactly what students want. On Tuesday March 1st, ASG passed a resolution voicing our stance on the new meal plan. While there are parts of the meal plan we believe are positive changes, like the transparency and value the new plan provides, we do not think it is flexible enough for students. ASG will continue to work with the administration on this issue to make sure the student voice remains in focus.
What do you think?
Written by, Secretary for On-Campus Affairs, Sammi Podolyan