Campus Dining Changes Slated For Next Academic Year

The SUNY New Paltz campus continues to evolve and expand and this evolution is spreading to students’ access to on-campus dining. The Campus Auxiliary Services (CAS) Board met for their monthly meeting on Wednesday, March 11 to discuss and vote on some of these changes.

New meal plans offered to students and faculty for the 2015-16 school year were approved by the board and will be the base for next year’s CAS budget.

Meal plans for the 2014-15 school year cost students $1,838, whereas the new plans will cost $1,930 — a five percent increase of $92. According to Executive Director of CAS Steve Deutsch, the increase in cost is needed to support the new dinning outlets that will be coming to campus.

The Platinum Carte Blanche plan — the only plan available to first-year students — will still offer unlimited meal swipes at Hasbrouck Dinning Hall (HAS) and Dining Dollars will increase from $50 to $200. The current Platinum 14 plan will become the Platinum 12 plan, decreasing HAS swipes to 12 per week but increasing Dining Dollars from $200 to $500. The Platinum Five will become the Platinum Seven, offering two additional weekly HAS swipes and $900 Dining Dollars — $170 less than the five plan.

The all-new meal plan that Deutsch believes will be very popular with upper classmen is called the Ultimate Flex Plan. This plan contains no swipes at HAS but students will have the full $1,930 available Dining Dollars.

Additionally, the commuter plan — where commuter students can deposit money to be used as Dining Dollars that the university credits with an additional 10 percent of the deposited amount — currently does not allow for that money to carry over into the next semester if unused. Under the new plan, that money will accumulate over the course of multiple semesters.

The new meal plan cost of $1,930 will still be less than the 2014-15 cost at all other SUNY campuses, according to the board’s presentation.

Student Sen. and fourth-year political science major James Auer serves as a student representative on the CAS board and is “dissatisfied with the way CAS went about this process [of presenting the new meal plans].”

“[CAS] purposely held this vote at their March meeting to decrease student input,” Auer said. “Had they presented the proposals at the February meeting, there would have been time to gather student opinion before the vote.”

Brienna Perez is a third-year philosophy major and commuter who does not currently have a meal plan. She said she would be open to getting one, possibly the commuter plan, because “it would be nice to eat at HAS while on campus.”

However, she said commuter students should receive a larger credit when they put in money because they have other expenses, such as gas. The credit acts as incentive to use some of that gas and come eat on campus, she said.

The board also heard proposals for five-year food, beverage and vending contracts from the schools current provider, PepsiCo, and their competitor, Coca-Cola. They will vote on the contracts at their April meeting after spending the month carefully reviewing each proposal.

New on-campus dining outlets opening include: a 120-seat café in Ridgeview Hall, a new licensed Starbucks that will replace Backstage Café, a Peet’s Coffee & Tea that will be located on the top floor of the newly renovated library and a 4,000 square-foot “Panera Bread style” café called Element 93 that will be in the new Wooster Science Building, according to Deutsch. Additionally, Jazzman’s Cafe will be removed from the Jacobson Faculty first floor, he said.