Dining Hall Proposes Meal Plan Changes

by Chloe Bailey
Elm Staff Writer

Have you ever wished that you could swipe in twice per meal session? Or that meals you missed didn’t get removed from your plan at the end of the week? Perhaps you’ve wanted a better way to use up dining dollars? The Dining Hall administrative staff has heard your feedback and they plan to deliver. They’ve come up with a proposal for an entirely new meal plan system for the 2017-2018 school year.
Although just in the beginning stages, these plans aim to make better use of dining dollars and meal swipes across the board.
Director of Dining Services Don Stanwick said, “The new plans would allow several things the current plans do not.  They would allow you to go to retail at any time, as there will no longer be a meal exchange as everything is dollar for dollar.”
Doing so allows the students to get better value out of their dining dollars, while also helping to bridge the gap between the price of meals and the amount of money allowed per meal exchange.
These plans also account for one of the most widely disliked features of the current meal plans: unused meals that vanish at the end of the week.
The new plans “would allow you not to lose unused meals at the end of each week; however, you will still lose them at the end of the semester.  They will allow you to eat more than once in a meal period and more than three times a day,” Stanwick said.
Arranged in semester-long meal blocks, the plans allow for between 175 and 250 meals, in addition to the same unlimited option. For example, in the new system, the 19 Advantage would be replaced by the 250 block, which includes both 250 meal swipes per semester and 300 dining dollars. This system works overtime making the students responsible for their meals, and as the number of swipes decreases, the number of dining dollars increases.
“It does call for students to be responsible for what they eat and spend…you need to make sure what you spend will last you to the end of the semester.  If you eat 10 times a day in the dining hall and are on the 250 block, your meal plan is gone in 25 days,” Stanwick said.
Many students are very excited to see these proposed plans in action. Freshman Jake Vassalotti said he’s “all for it….it allows people to use their paid meal swipes as they want so fewer of them go to waste,” and both food and dining dollars are conserved.
Likewise, the student body seems to appreciate that their voices are heard in the search for new options. The Dining Hall administrative staff has been working hard to ensure that the students’ preferences are accounted for, sending out email surveys and having face-to-face interest meetings.

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