In the fall, Aramark hopes to implement a new mandatory meal plan for all freshman and sophomores, who live on campus in residence halls. First and second year students will have two options: A 5-day plan (with $250 flex dollars) or 7-day plan (with $100 flex dollars). These all access meal plans provide students with a VIP pass to residential dining halls any time of day or night, during regular dining facility hours.
According to the Aramark:
“One of the great things about the All Access meal plan is its flexibility. Along with access to the residential dining centers, your plan also comes with a supplemental fund called Flex Bucks. Flex Bucks can be used to eat at any of the other restaurants on campus, including Zoca, Topio’s, Bleecker Street, Burger Studio, Center Stage, Connections, Terry Food Court, and Nina’s Café, plus on-campus convenience stores. The amount of Flex Bucks included with your plan varies, depending on the plan you choose.”
It is projected that the price of the cheapest available meal plan for next fall would cost the same as the most expensive meal plan offered today (i.e. the 19-meal per week plan would be the 5-day All Access Plan). Not only will it be mandatory for freshman and sophomore students to purchase one of the two new meal plans, but declining balance will not be offered to sophomores.
Due to the overwhelming student response, the Unified Student Government Association and Residence Hall Association have taken an active stance by listening to student concerns. After compiling feedback from USGA and RHA constituents, the following concerns have been brought to our attention:
It is projected that the 5-Day All Access meal plan, the least expensive meal plan Aramark hopes to implement, will be equivalent the Platinum 19 meals per week plan – a plan costing students $2,095 per semester.
In addition to the expectation of tuition increase and the construction of new residence halls for first and second year students, living on campus has become a large expenditure for students, and therefore a costly burden.
2. Quality of Food:
At the Cuisine Team meeting held on November 11, 2012, Aramark asserted that the quality of food was satisfactory for the student body. Despite the fact that Cuisine Team has been used as a vehicle of communication between Aramark and the student body, many issues have arisen over the quality of food. Aramark has left many of these questions answered. Ergo, students feel that if the prices are going to rise, there should also be an improvement in the quality of food as well.
3. Sophomore Housing Inconsistent
The University has expressed a desire to gradually shift the culture in upper-classmen housing. Sophomore housing options are gradually transitioning from apartment-style to more communal-style living. Next fall, this full transition will not be in place and the majority of sophomores will still be living in apartment style residence halls. Due to their access to kitchens, sophomores feel it is unnecessary to mandate that they purchase an All Access meal plan.
Therefore, the students of Loyola University Chicago call upon Dr. Robert Kelly, Vice President of Student Development, Cass Coughlin, Director for Residence Life, and Donna Quirk, Associate Vice President of Financial Administration and Compliance to reevaluate the new meal plan proposal due to serious student concern.