By Victoria Applegate
KU’s dining services decided for the upcoming year that meal plans will be limited to dining hall use only. This new policy indicates that meal plans will not be permitted at Java City in the library, the rec center, Starbucks or in the Academic Forum.
According to the Director of dining services, Kent Dahlquist, the new meal plan is called “MyTime Dining” and there will be three different plans to choose from. Those who live on campus, including incoming freshmen, will have a choice between two 24/7 meal plans, according to Dahlquist.
Currently, students have limited “meal swipes” per week. But for the upcoming year, meal swipes will no longer exist. According to Dahlquist, MyTime Dining will allow students unlimited entry and unlimited food in the Cub Café and South Dining Hall during the hours of operation.
According to Dahlquist, the first of the two meal plans that are mandatory for those living on campus is 24/7 with 16 guest meals and $150.00 in flex, which costs $1859.00. The second is 24/7 with eight guest meals and $50 in flex, which costs $1759.00. The third plan for those living off campus is 24/5 with five guest meals and $50.00 in flex, which costs $1395.00.
Dahlquist said that they made a commitment three years ago that the cost wouldn’t go above the current “19 meals a week” plan. This current plan costs about $1609.00 plus $150.00 in flex. The basic 24/7 meal plan will cost students the same amount of money.
Flex dollars can be used at locations such as Java City, the Academic Forum, the recreation center and Starbucks.
KU sophomore Allison Fanning has purchased a meal plan in previous years. She said, “I will not purchase a meal plan next year because I use meals mainly at Java City and the salad bar. I think it’s ridiculous how we will have to keep spending flex at places because if we run out of flex dollars, we need to pay for more. I think it’s just another way for the college to suck up our money.”
Dahlquist said that this plan has been in action for about three years now, but students are only now reacting to it. Dahlquist said, “This information was always available. Students just put it aside. Now that it’s coming up, students are questioning ‘Why didn’t I know this was going on?’”
Dahlquist has held many presentations on campus about this but, only about 20 people have showed up and the majority of them were faculty. He also said that emails have been sent out to students multiple times and on campus polls were taken as well.
Fanning also said, “I know many people who love using meal swipes for coffee and a bagel in the morning and it is very disappointing.”
Jen Brittingham, who will be living on campus next year, said, “I just feel like it’s going to be a waste of my money because I hardly eat at South or the Cub Café anyway because the quality of the food is not the same as the Academic Forum.”
MyTime dining will be put into effect in fall 2016. KU will be the only school in Pennsylvania who offers MyTime Dining with 24/7 services on campus.