It was announced this week that there will not be an increase in food plan cost for students for Fall 2018. This announcement coming despite recent upgrades and changes to on-campus food options.
In the past year or two, Boozel Express has expanded hours to remain open 24 hours a day, Weisenfluh added extended hours one day a week, T&B Cafe in the library had an entirely brand new menu following the library entrance renovations and Boozel has added several new options and stations. With all of these upgrades, on-campus food options have become more convenient and overall better for students and so not having an increase in the cost of food plans is a major win for every student that has one.
This is an even bigger win for students that live on campus, as they are required to have a meal plan per the university’s contract with AVI. This means that students will not have to pay more money required for a meal plan when they choose to live on campus. This is also good because the student that live on campus are generally first or second-year students and it is a great look for the university towards incoming freshmen if they do not have to pay more for a required meal plan their first semester on campus.
The Rocket staff also thinks that this shows that administration is willing to listen to student concerns and opinions and that the university is willing to find ways to make improvements like this happen without putting a burden on the students. The Rocket Staff thinks that this could be an encouraging indicator of how the university might handle other issues in the future mainly, on-campus parking.
Just this year, the university and administration have shown to always be thinking about the students and take their concerns into consideration. During the library renovation, a lot of students were concerned that T&B Cafe would be closed and there would not be a location outside of Starbucks to quickly get coffee on campus. In response to this, the university opened the Union Cafe in the old student union. This provided a convenient alternative to get coffee on campus while T&B was closed. Now with this news about the food plan, students have complained about it being restrictive where and when meal swipes and flex can be used and in response, the university implemented the aforementioned changes, all without increasing the cost for students.
Just these two examples give The Rocket staff confidence that the university will listen to student feedback and opinions when making decisions in the future and that whatever solution to the parking issue the university decides upon will have the students’ best interests in mind.