Less expensive meal plan option avaiable next year


The new plan will only be available to sophomores and upperclassmen. //

News Editor

Some students who live on the west side of campus at SDSU will be able to buy a less expensive meal plan next year.

SDSU is attempting to create cheaper meal plan options for students as several changes are being discussed for the next academic year.

Doug Wermedal, assistant vice president for student affairs, said that among the changes is a $600 meal plan option for sophomores and upperclassmen on the west side of campus, and the elimination of the 100-block meal plan.

Wermedal said a goal of the university is to have the northwest side of campus be primarily upperclassmen, while the southeast side is underclassmen. However, growing enrollment numbers are forcing SDSU to place a heavier population of sophomores on the northwest side of campus until construction can be done to accommodate for the growing numbers.

Wermedal said in order to maintain retention rates, incentives are being given to sophomores to live on the northwest side of campus. One of those incentives is the option to purchase a $600 meal plan.

“[It’s] critical that freshman get out there and mingle, and one of the chief ways that’s done is over that Java City coffee or over that Extreme Pita entrée,” Wermedal said. “If you have the $600 meal plan, you’ve cut in half those opportunities. That’s why it will only be offered to sophomores [and upperclassmen].”

Wermedal said the $600 meal plan will not only benefit sophomores, but also upperclassmen.

“For juniors and seniors it’s not about building social supports, but about the convenience of having an array of choices on campus,” he said. “If we can find a way for them to be able to stay on campus during their class day, that’s great, and it makes a difference.”

Wermedal said the 100-block meal plan was eliminated to provide simplicity when selecting a meal plan. Students will now have the option of a 75-block or 150-block meal plan.

“[We] did consider leaving the bronze flex option, but we didn’t take that step based on remarks from students,” he said. “It’s a desire [of] the Board of Regents to make choosing meal plans easier…so we eliminated the 100-block plan.”

Anthony Sutton, Students’ Association vice president, said the $600 meal plan is a step in the right direction, but he is hoping to see more improvements. He said eliminating meal plan options for ease of selection isn’t the way to go.

“The BOR have really harped on SDSU in several fields about us having too many rates and needing to consolidate,” Sutton said. “To me that’s a good thing. The ability for choice should never be something we shy away from, but something we embrace and move forward with because that means we can serve the entire campus population.”

Sutton and SA president, Mark York, campaigned on providing cheaper meal plan options for students. Sutton said that despite having a $600 meal plan available to some students, SA would still work to provide a greater number of cheaper meal plan options.

“I think the flex option is great, but I would personally like to see meal plan options that embrace more of the hobo dough style,” Sutton said. “Lets be creative and provide options. Choice is one of the most fundamental things we have at a college campus… so why can’t I choose to eat on or off campus and have the ability to do that?”

Carrie Moore, a senior journalism major, doesn’t think the $600 meal plan will benefit a lot of students and thinks giving students choices is important.

“I really don’t feel the $600 meal plan is an incentive to live on the west side. If I was a sophomore looking where to live, I would base my decision on the dorms, location to my classes, and overall atmosphere of the community,” Moore said. “I don’t think eliminating meal plan options is a good idea. One meal plan option may be good for one student, but not the other; it’s all about preference.”

Wermedal said that the meal plan changes will be proposed to the BOR later this month.