After pressure from the Food Advisory Committee at Emory (FACE), Emory Dining has increased the number of meals for Meal Plan C from 110 meals to 125 meals. The 15-meal increase took effect on Sept. 22.
Although students have voiced concern regarding meal plan cost in the past, dissatisfaction peaked this summer when students discovered that the average price of a meal on Meal Plan C was more expensive than the cost of breakfast or lunch at the Dobbs University Center.
Increasing the meals from 110 to 125 brings the average cost of a meal on Meal Plan C, a plan primarily for sophomores, below the cost of lunch or dinner at the DUC.
College sophomore Paul Evavold initially calculated this price difference during the summer and posted it on the Campus Life at Emory conference on LearnLink. Evavold, who newly became a commuter student, was trying to calculate the financial advantage of having a meal plan, since meal plans are optional for commuter students.
“I think it is unfair that Emory Dining forces sophomores living on campus to have a meal plan. It is also unfair that they charge them more than the average Joe on the street,” Evavold said.
Evavold’s post on the Campus Life conference ignited a flame of response from the student body.
According to College seniors and FACE Co-Chairs Jeremy Barr and Benjamin van der Horst, once they saw the reaction from the student body, changing Meal Plan C became a top priority for FACE.
FACE began discussing possible changes to Meal Plan C with Emory Dining in July.
“If you ate dinner all the time you would be benefiting. If you ate breakfast then you would be wasting money. Students felt they were getting ripped off,” said van der Horst, who is also a columnist for the Wheel
Barr said that Emory Dining was very cooperative and made a real effort to “make students happy.”
General Manager of Emory Dining Joe Mitchell said that Emory Dining made it a top priority to solve the Meal Plan C issue promptly.
“Anytime you have customers that are unhappy you are concerned,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell said that Emory Dining had many different options in addressing the issue, including raising the price of lunch and breakfast at the DUC. But instead, Emory Dining decided to add 15 meals to the plan.
“We are essentially giving these meals away,” Mitchell said.
Barr said that negotiating more meals for Meal Plan C was a big step for FACE.
“This committee in the past was really run by the administration. But now Emory students are taking the lead,” Barr said.
Barr added that FACE will be creating two subcommittees. The first will focus on allowing students to shape the menu at the DUC, while the second will focus on assessing the meal plans at Emory.
“We are going to review all of the meal plans to see what needs to be changed and what works. If students have complaints, they should come to FACE,” van der Horst said.
Although the 15-meal increase makes the plan more “economically smart,” Evavold said he still feels Emory should not make sophomores purchase a meal plan.
College sophomore Deborah Yang said she is glad Emory Dining listened to student concerns and increased the number of meals.
“Next year I was planning on getting the 400 Dooley Dollar plan and paying for the DUC separately because it would have been more expensive to get Meal Plan C,” Yang said. “But now I will probably get Meal Plan C.”
— Contact Dua Hassan.