New meal plans to be approved this week

By Madeline Alvarez, Staff Writer

By Friday, Newman will have settled on new meal plan options for the 2019-2020 school year.

Director of Residence Life Scott Mudloff and Vice President for Finance and Administration Jennifer Gantz have been working together to create new meal plans for the fall 2019 semester and say they are hoping to approve four new meal plans for Newman to offer to students.

For the 2018-2019 academic year, the university offered only a 19-meal plan and required it for all on-campus students, besides those who lived in Fugate. Students were dissatisfied with this decision for different reasons, one of which was that they did not have time to get food from the cafeteria but still had to pay for meals there.

In times past, the university offered a 10 meal plan, a 14 meal plan and a 19 meal plan. On-campus freshmen were required to have the 19 meal plan, but sophomore students were able to choose between the 14 meal plan and the 19 meal plan, juniors were able to choose between all three options and Fugate residents were not required to have a meal plan.

Gantz and Mudloff said that Residence Life sent out a survey to students to see what kind of changes they were looking for.

Director of Food Services Chris Heck said that he was asked to come up with several options for meal plans for Mudloff and Gantz to choose from.

Gantz said that she and Mudloff are currently looking at five or six options.

“Really, what we’re trying to do is figure out how many options we can give to students in a way that we can make work financially as well….” Gantz said. “That’s kind of what we’ve been doing for the past few days is trying to see what’s the most feasible option for us and still trying to give some options to the students.”

Dean of Students Christine Schneikart-Luebbe said in a general meeting with the Student Government Association on Tuesday that the new plans will most likely include a 10 meal plan and a 14 meal plan in addition to the currently offered 19 meal plan.

Although the pricing is not yet definite, the 10 meal plan will possibly cost $1,750, the 14 meal plan will possibly cost $1,890 and the 19 meal plan will possibly cost $2,036, Schneikart-Luebbe said in the SGA meeting.

The plans will also include a new option for commuters, Mudloff said.

Gantz said that certain plans will be offered to certain students. For example, freshmen living on campus will still be required to have the 19 meal plan.

“With the understanding that as you get further in your college career and understand how many [meals] you’re actually going to need, I think that that’s why, as you get older, you get different options,” Gantz said.

In the past, the meal plans had included Scooter’s Bucks to be used at the on-campus Scooter’s Coffee Shop. The new plans, with the exception of the smallest plan, will likely include money to be used at the Newman Grind.

Gantz also spoke this week with Cabinet members for feedback before deciding on the plans to offer.

“We’ve listened to students, and that’s why we’re working on this. We want to do what we can to make them happy and, ultimately, that’s why we’re here,” Mudloff said.

PHOTO: THE NEW MEAL PLANS will likely include money to be used at the Newman Grind. Branson Freeeman, Staff Photographer