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The Northerner

Student Senate asks for changes in meal experience

Kevin Schultz, News editor

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Student Government Association is seeking to improve the student meal experience at NKU with its latest resolution which was passed at the group’s Feb. 25 meeting.

The resolution was made after an announced three percent increase in the price of student meal plans for the 2013-14 school year. The resolution recommends several different changes that the group would like to see implemented in the student meal experience, in exchange for a slightly higher increase in the price of meal plans.

“The Student Government Association is aware of planned meal plan price increases of approximately 3.0 percent,” the SGA resolution said, “but [we] would be willing to support price increases no greater than 5.0 percent if the aforementioned concerns were to be addressed in the immediate future.”

SGA has already been working with Business Operations and Auxiliary Services Director Andy Meeks to see what changes are feasible.

According to Meeks, some negotiations are currently being made between SGA, Business Operations and Auxiliary Services and Chartwells, and there are many more to come.

SGA’s newly passed resolution consists of four parts.

The first part, or initiative, recommends extending the hours of Fresh Factor, in the student union, which is currently open from 8 a.m. to  2 p.m. Monday- Friday, to match those of Papa John’s and Coyote Jack’s, also in the student union, which are currently open from 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday- Thursday and 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday.

The second initiative recommends offering meal plan exchanges at Einstein Bros Bagels in the library.

The third initiative recommends allowing a weekend food services option such as Starbucks or Einstein Bros Bagels.

The fourth recommends increasing the meal swipe exchange rate to an amount greater than $5.65.

Having Fresh Factor open later in the day is important, according to the SGA resolution, because it allows evening students to have a healthier food option available during their time on campus.

Enabling students to have meal plan exchanges at Einstein Bros Bagels is important, according to the SGA resolution, because it “offers food options comparable to full meals,” and because “there is currently no meal exchange privilege allowed at said location.”

Allowing a food service option such as Starbucks or Einstein Bros Bagels is important, according to SGA President Erik Pederson, because it is an essential part of transitioning NKU to have more campus life on the weekend.

There are currently no weekend food retail options that exist in the Student Union or Steely Library. Therefore many students, who would normally visit one of the places on campus, are forced to seek food elsewhere.

“If we are going to be on campus, with a lot more campus events on the weekends, we have to have a place that is going to be open for us to eat at,” Pederson said. “And we have to start somewhere.”

Additionally, increasing the meal swipe exchange rate to an amount greater than $5.65 is important, according to SGA, because the current exchange rate of $5.50 does not cover the price of an average meal in the student union and the price of meals in the student union are increasing at a higher rate than the meal plan exchange rate.

Pederson voiced his hope that SGA will be able to get all four of the initiatives negotiated and implemented in some way for the students.

Overall, Meeks said that having this SGA resolution is important. “It helps to have this resolution so that we can show we really have the support of the students in this process,” Meeks said.

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Student Senate asks for changes in meal experience