The Campus Dining Advisory Board (CDAB) implemented pricing changes for food at Bartlett Hall recently, after a Student Government (SG) survey conducted last quarter showed dissatisfaction among first-year students over the Bartlett freshman meal plan.
SG proposed recommendations to CDAB citing student concerns over a decrease in this years freshman meal plan from 1,100 to 900 dining points. Students felt this amount was insufficient, according to the surveys results.
In its short-term and long-term recommendations to CDAB, SG proposed increasing the meal plan from 900 to 964 dining points per quarter, while the extended plan calls for the creation of two meal plan choices, one with 850 points and the other with 1,100 points per quarter.
CDAB instead decided to address the concerns of first-years without altering the meal plan, changing the prices of select food items beginning this quarter.
Changing meal plans is more difficult than it would appear to be, said Richard Mason, director of Dining and Housing Services. Looking at the respective prices of things, there was a way to change prices and specials that could generate better money for combination meals.
Administrators have reduced prices on breakfast specials, offering two pancakes, two pieces of bacon or sausage, two fresh eggs, and a small drink for a dollar less than before. Price adjustments also include fruit cups, which are now priced by volume in prepackaged containers rather than being dependent on weight measurements, as they were previously. In addition, the changes allow more variety and lower pricing options for entrees and side dishes.
Andrew Stergachis, a third-year in the College and student representative to CDAB, said the next step is to make the salad bar more affordable. The proposed change would be similar to what they did with the fruit cup, charging by volume instead of paying a large amount by pound, he said.
Forty-four percent of first-years surveyed said they were not satisfied with their meal plan, and 46 percent said they were concerned about the feasibility of eating three meals a day in Bartlett.
The majority of student complaints on the survey concerned breakfast foods, health foods, fruit, and salad, Stergachis said.