In a Student Association (SA) senate meeting, students expressed that they were displeased with the current meal plan on campus. Executive Vice President Eve Stern said changes need to be considered.
Student Sen. Melanie Glenn said the meal plan at the moment is wasteful and food options are limited.
“With only five Hasbrouck swipes a week and no rollovers, you either lose your money and become hungry at the end of the semester when you don’t have your extra swipes, or you run out of swipes at Hasbrouck because you live so close, then are forced further distances for your food, which can be stressful,” said Glenn. “Also, Jazzman’s meal exchange is unhealthy with their soda cans, many deserts and no fruits.”
The meal plans change every year. Steve Deutsch, executive director of Campus Auxiliary Services (CAS), emphasizes student feedback and takes it into consideration.
The most recent changes were from blocks of meals to weekly meal allowances. According to Deutsch, there is an option of five meals a week for the semester for upperclassmen. There are approximately 80 meals a semester.
According to Stern, different committees have been set up to discuss and fix issues with food. CAS has already set them up.
“There is a Food Service Committee, a Service Evaluation Committee and a Vending Committee,” said Stern.
Stern said that there are a few things wrong with the meal plan. She said the first go-around for Sodexo implementing this type of meal plan with the exchange at Jacobson Faculty Tower (JFT) has drawbacks. According to Stern, Sodexo invented the meal exchange program.
“In theory this meal plan would be great, but due to the disappointing selection at the JTF Meal Exchange, it’s not up to par,” said Stern. “The food isn’t labeled, the food itself seems to be poorly made and there are very dry options available.”
According to Stern, items were promised to the board that have not been available, like a panini press. Sodexo gave a presentation at the end of last semester that was misleading which include the panini press, according to Stern.
“Since people do not want to use their blocks at this meal exchange, people have to eat at Hasbrouck five times a week, which isn’t fair due to school holidays and other situations,” said Stern. “It limits when people can go and is overall constricting. Because we all know when everyone is low at the end of the semester on dining dollars and goes to use the overabundance of blocks to rescue them at Hasbrouck, we won’t have this option.”
Both, Stern and Glenn have gotten feedback from many students that approached them and other members of the SA E-board and student senate. Stern believes that the first step is for the board members of CAS to improve the situation at the JFT Meal Exchange.
Glenn hopes to see meal exchange improve in the spring semester, with “possible changes” before. It will take longer for more local food to be offered.
Meanwhile, Stern will keep working toward changing food options on campus.
“My goals are to constantly work to improve and provide healthy, quality, local and delicious food on campus as much as I can, so I definitely will keep my eye on this throughout the year,” said Stern.