Oct 302011
Authors: Erik Carman

Freshman students dining on campus may lose their lunch this year.

Beginning this semester, student meal plans purchased through CSU Housing and Dining Services are being tracked on a weekly basis.

Students have either 21 meals per week, 14 meals per week or 10 meals per week depending on which plan they purchased. If not used within a week, the meals will expire.

The previous meal plan allowed students to choose how many meals they wanted per semester.

Director of Communications and Sustainability for Housing and Dining Services Tonie Miyamato said this change was in response to criticism received from students and parents.

“The number one complaint we got from students and their parents/families,” Miyamato said in an email to the Collegian, “was that meals were too difficult to track over the course of a full semester.”

Miyamato explained that, with the new plan, students will be able to track their meals each week online, rather than having to estimate how many to use over the course of the semester.

But some students aren’t biting.

Freshman biology major Maddie Trost said the new meal plan was making things very inconvenient for her freshman class.

“Some weeks I feel like I’m losing money,” Trost said.

Trost also believes that students who go home on weekends are sure to lose money with the new plan.
Another freshman student, undeclared business major Andrea Martinez-Vazquez, said she generally didn’t use about four meals a week.

Vazquez was worried the money she spent for meal plans was being wasted.

“It would be better if we could roll meals over,” she said.

Senior psychology major Anthony San Lorenzo, whose off-campus meals do roll over, said the new meal plan is“not cool”.

San Lorenzo added that he felt the new policy wasn’t fair, and was surely done by the school as a way to save money.

However, according to Miyamato, “students pay less per meal with the new weekly meal plans than they did in the old semester system.”

“We now provide guest passes for all meal plans above and beyond the weekly meal counts so students get an additional 20 meals per semester,” she said.

But according to Trost, 20 guest passes weren’t enough, and the fact that the new policy doesn’t allow students to meal swipe each other would eventually leave students hungry.

Recalling his own on-campus meal plan, San Lorenzo stated that students should be able to use the meals however they saw fit.

“If you paid for them, you should be able to use them whenever you want,” San Lorenzo said.

But according to Miyamato, meal plans are issued to an individual, much like a ski pass.

“If students handed their meal, plan card over to friends or swiped in friends at each meal we would not be able to plan accurately, and we would have to charge more per meal,” she said.

Collegian writer Erik Carman can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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