Meal Plan Options Still Under Consideration

A plan is in the works for the Backstage Cafe in Parker Theater to likely accept Hasbrouck swipes to give students more options
A plan is in the works for the Backstage Cafe in Parker Theater to likely accept Hasbrouck swipes to give students more options

A change in student meal plans may be put into action next fall.

Similar to the meal exchange plan in Jazzman’s, the Backstage Café in Parker Theater will likely accept Hasbrouck swipes in an effort to give students more food options.

“We will propose this idea to the Campus Auxiliary Services (CAS) board at the end of March,” Executive Director of CAS Steve Deutsch said. “It’ll be the same meal plan exchange from last year with a small percent increase in cost.”

New Paltz’s contract with Sodexo, the Hasbrouck food service provider, expires May 2013. These plans are tentative because Campus Auxiliary Service (CAS) is uncertain of the next food service provider they will contract with and what systems the provider may implement.

After meeting with students, CAS officials felt that the best way to approach improving student meal plans is to keep the cost low instead of raising tuition and trying to live up to unattainable expectations. Though many beg to differ, some students disagree with this mentality and would rather pay more for better quality food.

“They built the meal exchange plan up to be really awesome, but as the fall semester started, people saw that the food wasn’t good,” Student Association Executive Vice President Eve Stern said. “They think we want less money and more food, but most students want the food they want for however much they have to pay.”

Deutsch believes it is imperative New Paltz maintains low tuition in comparison to other SUNY schools.

The current meal exchange plan in Jacobson Faculty Tower (JFT) and the proposed extension to Parker Theater are designed to test out the meal exchange plan in preparation for the new food facility to be built in Wooster Science Building by fall semester 2014.

“Students wanted to be able to use their ‘HAS swipes’ elsewhere,” Deutsch said. “We designed JFT to facilitate that and are currently designing Wooster. Wooster is going to be sort of like a Panera-style café, the biggest dining hall on campus beside the Student Union and Hasbrouck.”

Deutsch said he anticipates that the meal exchange plan extension to Parker and eventually Wooster will help students get value as possible for what they are paying for. However, he recognizes not all students will be satisfied with the changes.

“A lot of the perception is flavored by the fact that people have to be on these plans and there’s resentment because they want to spend their money elsewhere,” Deutsch said. “A higher tuition and more options put stress on a student and stress on us to be something that we simply aren’t. I can’t be your favorite pizza place and it’s impossible to be everything to everybody. Our job is to offer more value.”