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Changes in dining services will require all students on campus to purchase meal plan

May 8, 2008

UW-River Falls will be requiring all students living on campus to purchase meal plans beginning in the fall semester 2008.

The change will mean that juniors and seniors living on campus will now be required to purchase meal plans. The student run Dining Services Advisory Committee (DSAC) is the student oversight for dining services procedure. They were involved in the process and held a mock vote but the decision was ultimately up to the University.

The meal plan prices are based on the amount of students purchasing meal plans.  Therefore, if more students are purchasing meal plans, prices are cheaper for all students, Jerry Waller, director of dining services, said.

Food costs are expected to increase by about 20 percent next year.  In order to keep meal plan prices the same, juniors and seniors will be required to purchase meal plans, said Waller.

Safety is a primary reason for required meal plans at UWRF.

“None of the residence halls are designed to allow for extensive food production,” Waller said.  “The Health and safety of the residents is very important, not only from a food safety standpoint, (storing and preparing food) but also from a general public safety of both nuisance alarms from burnt food to concerns of real fires resulting from food production.”

At the beginning of spring semester the University campus, excluding South Fork (not part of required meal plans) housed 2007 students.  325 of these students are juniors and seniors.

The University could not provide statistics for next year because registration is currently in process.  However, the statistics should be very similar for the beginning of fall semester 2008, said Residence Life West Area Coordinator, Jason Neuhaus.

“I see the required meal plan fair in some ways, and not in others. First, I enjoy lots of freedoms, and I do not like being forced into purchasing a meal plan,” student Forest Kirschbaum said. “On the other hand, the previously listed reasons for the required meal plan, give the change positive aspects, as well as a low-cost meal plan available only to juniors and seniors.