The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Dining Services Changes Prices of Meal Plans

2 min read

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Higher prices in the new meal deal policies at the Nest and Underground have polarized student opinions.

The new meal deals are supposed to bring a new variety of choices and to find a balance between the students’ flex money and meals, according to General Manager of Eagle Dining Kori Dean.

“We’re trying to walk a very fine line between keeping things affordable and keeping the quality high,” Vice President for Student Affairs Doug Searcy said in a previous interview.

Dining services has implemented a 3,2,1 meal deal which adds either three to one dollars of flex to a meal swipe. This new method was created to solve the problem of students using up all of their meal swipes or flex money, according to Dean.

“The 3,2,1 Meal Deals are built on a good, better, best principal, if you want something that is in the better or the best category , you can choose to upgrade,” General Manager of Eagle Dining Kori Dean said.

According to Dean, the reason for creating the 3,2,1 meal deals is the quality of food.  For example, last year the burger patties at the Nest were 5 ounces, but this year The WOW Wingery at the Nest serves a fresh half-pound burger.

The menu of Naturally Woodstock at the Underground has also completely changed, affecting the prices there, too.

The Underground has not been making enough revenue to sustain itself in the past, according to Searcy.

Dean said that this year dining services wanted to create a model that would “lower the amount the University had to subsidize and still provide fresh and exciting products and service.” She said that they had to raise prices to be able to do this.

Sophomore Robert Sharp created a boycott against the new changes in the meal deals advertised on Facebook.

“It was meant to be a preliminary demonstration of how upset we were with the changes, primarily how the students weren’t really informed beforehand,” he said.

Sharp added that he thought that overall the new meal deals aren’t that bad.

“There are a few problems that need to be tweaked, but those things can be fixed,” he said.

Though prices have increased, freshman Isabelle Eastham likes the different choices that each dining hall has to offer.

“I can definitely sort through the stuff that I want,” Eastham said.

She does favor the food offered in the Washroom because she views it to be a lot healthier than the other options.  Though Eastman and most of the freshmen are content, many of the upperclassmen are not.

Sophomore Katelyn Bateman views the new meal deals as unfair.

“I think they are giving us less food for more money,” Bateman said.

While Bateman does like the majority of the choices that the dining halls recommend, she is displeased with the options dining services removed, such as the variety of choices for making your own salad.