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Meal change requests decrease from spring

TIME TO EAT: Sophomore political science and psychology major, Faryal Mushtaq, swipes her Sun Card at the Memorial Union dining hall on the Tempe campus Tuesday night. (Photo by Rosie Gochnour)
TIME TO EAT: Sophomore political science and psychology major, Faryal Mushtaq, swipes her Sun Card at the Memorial Union dining hall on the Tempe campus Tuesday night. (Photo by Rosie Gochnour)

The number of student residents requesting meal plan changes through University Housing’s online request system has already topped last fall semester’s total but was on track Tuesday to fall beneath spring 2011 numbers, a residential housing official said.

University Housing marketing specialist Eliza Robinson said in an email that 1,715 requests were submitted last spring through the online system, and while she did not have current data available, this year’s total had already surpassed last fall’s number of 1,102.

Robinson said the drop in the number of requests this semester compared to last could be due to students being more prepared before deciding on a meal plan.

“There are a lot of partners across the University who have improved the way that we communicate the meal plan options to our students,” she said.

Robinson attributed the increase between last fall and spring to students becoming more settled on campus by their second semester.

“Some of them request changes to their meal plans that will better fit their hall and their class schedule and their lifestyle,” she said.

Robinson added that most students submitting requests this fall are Tempe campus freshman ­— the largest group of students living on campus.

The University requires freshmen to live in a residential hall and purchase a meal plan.

Political science freshman AJ Wakefield who lives on the Tempe campus changed his meal plan from 14 meals a week and $375 M&G Dollars to the All Maroon and Gold plan that gives students $1,068 M&G Dollars.

Wakefield said he changed his plan so he could have more freedom in choosing where to eat as well as save money.

M&G Dollars are accepted at on-campus markets and businesses, and the difference in plans helped Wakefield save more than $1,000.

“It was nice to save all this money while garnering all these benefits,” Wakefield said, adding he could dictate his own nutritional choices and cook for himself.

Students were allowed to switch meal plans this semester beginning Aug. 13, and the deadline for a change request is today at 5 p.m.

All meal plan change requests from students living on campus are reviewed by University Housing staff who take into account a person’s residence hall and class rank —whether they are a freshman, sophomore, etc.

Business exploratory freshman Marian Watson who lives at the Barrett residential halls on the Tempe campus had her request denied because she was an honors college student.

First-year Barrett students can only choose between two meal plans — unlimited meals with $100 M&G Dollars and a 14 meals a week plan with $150 M&G Dollars.

Watson said she tried to change her 14-meals per week plan to a non-Barrett All Maroon and Gold plan.

“Between classes, I didn’t really have time to get all the way back to Barrett and eat and go back,” Watson said, explaining that the decision to make the change was a scheduling issue.

She said she could have used the unlimited Maroon and Gold Dollars plan to buy from on-campus markets — something that would have helped her schedule.

Unlike her friends who did not have scheduling conflicts, Watson said she didn’t favor the Barrett meal plan restriction.

“I’m not a fan of it, personally,” Watson said.


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