Meal plan set to change fall 2017

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Meal plan set to change fall 2017

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From the “Traditional Meal Plan,” offering 215 meal swipes per semester accompanied by $175 in flex, to the “Saints Meal Plan” which apportions students 125 meal swipes and $525 flex, the university saw fit to revamp the current food plan options in regards to Grand Hall opening in fall of 2017.

Although Griesedieck and Reinert dining halls, Fusz and the BSC offer an array of choices for students to dine, Grand Hall will feature a new 740-seat eating center which will include a restaurant-style ambience with a fireplace and a variety of food stations appealing to pasta lovers and vegetarian and gluten-free dieters.

“Having a greater variety is really important because we usually eat the same food almost every day,” freshman Iliana Watson said.

“You go into [Griesedieck dining hall] and you have one station that seems relatively healthy which has freshly-cooked food, and then there are the stations with pizza, burgers and fries, and vegetarian food, but overall, the options are very limited. My friend’s roommate is gluten-free, and she barely has any choices with what to eat— it will be nice when Grand opens and the services are more accommodating to people with allergies and food restrictions.”

Currently, students living in residence halls have the choice of selecting either the “Traditional Meal Plan,” the “SLU Blue Meal Plan,” including unlimited swipes and $145 in flex, the “Spirit Meal Plan,” including 150 swipes in a semester and $395 in flex, the “Saints Meal Plan” and the “Billiken Flex Plan,” which does not include meal swipes but rather $1,495 flex dollars per semester.

For the commuters and on-campus apartment residents, each student is either allotted $200 in flex dollars as part of the “Express Flex Plan” or that of $400 for the “Ultimate Flex Plan.” Watson elaborated on her current “Saints Plan” as having “too little flex and too many meal swipes” as there was a big jump from her current food plan to that which was all-flex.

However, with Grand’s completion in the fall, DineSLU favored refurbishing the student’s’ meal plan choices, centered around the increase in dining hall variety.

Under the new arrangement, all freshmen will be required to select the “All Access Plan,” which includes unlimited meal swipes and $145 in flex per semester, the equivalent of the current “SLU Blue Meal Plan.” In regards to upperclassmen residing in residence halls, they have the choice of choosing the “All Access Plan,” the “Block 125 Plan,” which includes 125 swipes and $525 flex, or the “Block 80 Plan,” which consists of 80 swipes and $995 flex.

For commuters and those living in on-campus apartments, the basic flex plan increased $100 as the “Flex 300 Plan” allows students to utilize $300 flex per semester, and the “Flex 300 Plus” features the option of including 25 meal swipes in addition to the $300 flex.

One last drastic addition is the implementation of the “Block 25 Plan,” which allows the students to purchase meals an unlimited amount of times throughout the semester in blocks of 25 per purchase.

“I understand why SLU is changing the freshmen to only using one plan because they are transitioning to the college lifestyle, and using a dining hall is easier for them,” sophomore Matt Edelhauser explained.

“I will say, though, that as having the unlimited meal plan last year, it fit me well the first semester, but after second semester you have a niche and better understanding of where you are and what you like to eat at SLU. Maybe if the freshmen had this required unlimited plan for one semester and could change it after the second semester, that might be a little better.”

Living in Marchetti during the 2017-2018 academic year, Edelhauser appreciates the centrality of Grand but also the freedom of cooking in his own apartment kitchen.

“In college, you’re supposed to grow up and eventually do stuff for yourself without your parents helping you,” he explained.

“Having more options and Grand in a good location is really helpful. If we don’t have options like that, we would just go to [Griesedieck] to binge on unhealthy food or grab fast food instead—these healthier options can inspire people to cook on their own.”