SGA weighs in on meal plan options

Andy Meeks has an idea that will restructure the way meal plans have been managed the past few years.

Meeks, director of business operations, spoke at the Student Government Association meeting Jan. 26 about the possibility of switching residential meal plans from the traditional way it has been for the past 50 or 60 years.

‘What we are talking about is moving from traditional meal plans to moving to a retail environment,’ Meeks said.

He added that each meal plan has a number of options and that ‘it’s like buying car insurance.’

‘It is based off economic trending of a 4.5 percent increase for the fiscal year 2010 to 2011,’ Meeks said.

Vice President of Public Relations Tracy Osborne brought up the concern that she is paying the same amount for meal plans but not getting the same amount of service on the weekends. She used the limited hours in Norse Commons and Callahan’s cafeteria being closed from noon Friday to Sunday as examples.

Meeks said those areas are factored into the model for the meal plans.

‘If we change a lot in the meal plans it would cost more,’ he said.

With the new proposal, Meeks said the amount of flex dollars have doubled.

‘The flex dollars effectively double and can be used everywhere on campus,’ Meeks said.

Chartwells’ proposal that was presented to SGA in the meeting was not exactly what SGA was looking for Cronon said.

Meal transferability will allow students with meal plans to eat in the Student Union Center no matter where they reside.

President Gabe Cronon said SGA’s main priority with the proposal is to make sure Chartwells’ has a better quality of food product, consistent reliable hours of operation, ensure meal transferability in the Student Union, the overall cost per student, and to make sure Chartwells is at Northern Kentucky University for a service and not to make a profit.
Meeks also touched upon a proposal that would add $2 a month in parking fees.

However, Meeks noted he would speak about it on a later date once he gets more info.
Director of Housing Pete Trentacoste also briefed SGA over the possibility of increasing housing rates.

‘We seek to use a weighted average,’ he said.

Trentacoste said that the possibility of increases for next year could range from nothing to $210 per semester.

He added that there was a concern over the pricing of rooms in Callahan Hall where students were paying the same for two different sized rooms.

However, Trentacoste said the rates for standard rooms will stay the same and the rates for premium rooms will increase.