MSUM Students living on campus want change regarding dining plans

MSUM Students living on campus want change regarding dining plans

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Kaitlyn Bayman started this petition to Minnesota State University Moorhead

This year has been difficult for college freshmen everywhere. We continue to hear “Oh you’re really missing out.” Or “My freshman year was so much better.” Or “Have you even made any friends at college?” Among these statements, at MSUM specifically we hear “The food here was way better before covid, way more options and better hours.” 

Like any other year, MSUM freshmen students living on campus were required to get an unlimited dining plan, the least expensive unlimited plan costing $1613, which includes unlimited dining as well as 5 guest passes and 150 dragon dollars that can be used at the campus Starbucks, convenience store, etc. 

The university has established great procedures to follow COVID-19 guidelines and keep their students safe and healthy on campus. The staff at Kise do an amazing job serving us and making sure everything is clean and sanitary. Almost all the food has to be served by the staff and there’s only so many of them, and we have been told by upperclassmen that because of this they have noticed a big decrease in options. The more food options, the more staff needed to serve it. 

The main issue I have heard recently is the hours of operation. Kise closes for a few hours in the late afternoon and earlier at night for cleaning. We respect and understand why this is in place, and appreciate how hard they work to make Kise a safe and sanitary place to eat. However, these hours make it challenging for many college students. We have busy schedules and most of us don’t eat three meals a day. Personally, with my class and work schedule, it can be difficult to make it to Kise. A few weeks ago, I went down to Kise after class on a Friday around 6:35pm, and the dining center was closed. I went down to the C-Store to try to find something to eat, and there were three other students scrambling to find dinner, expressing their frustrations with Kise being closed so early on a Friday night. We all used our dragon dollars to buy our supper, most of us walking out with a poptart or bag of Cheetos, looking up the closet drive thru restaurant. After Thanksgiving break, all courses will switch to online delivery, and there is talk that the hours at Kise will be decreased even more. 

Again, us students respect the changes regarding Covid-19, but no one I have talked to has said they think they have gotten their money’s worth or that they have been able to eat there enough to be changed $1600. 

We are not sure what the best solution is here. Times are tough. We understand the decisions being made, but looking at the cost of our required meal plans this year is quite unsettling. We want change. Next semester students should have the option of sticking with the unlimited plan, or be able to purchase a plan with 25, 50, 100 meals, an option currently only available to upperclassmen. We simply want to feel like we getting what we are paying for. 

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