Students eat cost of Chartwells meal plan changes

Starting this school year, residential students can no longer use their meal plans in the University Center. They now they have an allotted amount of money to use that comes with their meal plan.

Last school year students were able use their meal plans in the University Center, Norse Commons and the C-Store. Some meal plans such as the traditional 15 meal per-week allowed students to buy one meal per meal period at the University Center, Norse Commons, Starbucks, Ritazza and the C-Store.

The Northerner reported Jan. 17 that Chartwells was working on creating a meal plan with no restrictions, with more choices, more often. The meal plan would work on a point and dollar plan outside of the Norse Commons.

Now each plan has a certain amount of money set aside for flex to use whenever they want, how much they want with no time constraints.

Senior Director of dining services at Chartwells Ed Devoid explains the new change as “the next step.”

This change upset a lot of students.

“I was shocked by the response,” Devoid said. He said he made the changes to the meal plans to allow students to have more choices and no time limits.

Devoid added that there were a lot of confusions with the old meal plans, since the plans only allowed students to get certain things on the menu in the University Center. He said Chartwells was setting itself up for confrontation when it told students it couldn’t get certain things.

Devoid also added that oftentimes, in a room full of people, there may be only two people who know what the rules are.

Georgia Ingram, a Chartwells employee, agrees with the changes.

“It’s a whole lot easier for us and it may be confusing for students,” said Ingram, a Chick-fil-A cashier. “It creates more time.”

Ingram added that before, she would feel bad about telling students they couldn’t get certain items with their meal plan.

However, Amy Rawe, a sophomore theater major, disagrees with the changes.

“It’s the first week of school and I only have $87 left, and that’s after three lunches,” she said.

Devoid said he knows students spend more than $100 per semester, but they can do something as simple as budgeting to save their money.

“If you manage (the flex dollars) and get an Outtake salad and a soda everyday, yes you’re going to run out,” Devoid said.

Devoid said the meal plans are open to change and that he continues to read every student’s comment card and e-mail.

“Students will grow into the meal plan,” Devoid said. “Hopefully, (Chartwells) can continue to get feedback. We listen. We really do.”