By Amber Bachiochi
Changes have recently been made that affect all SWOSU students with a meal plan.
The meal equivalency is now $6, as opposed to the previous $5.50. Because of this change to the value of individual meals, the cost of meal plans has also increased. For meal plans used over the course of a 16-week semester, the following changes were made:
• 10 meals/week increased by $30
• 14 meals/week increased by $5
• 19 meals/week increased by $50
Changes were made to flex amounts as well. The Mid Flex range at 10 meals per week changed from $200 in flex money to $175. Additionally, the Super Flex range at 10 meals per week decreased from $300 to $250 in flex.
Bursar Shelby Unruh said that Residence Life, Auxiliary Services, and Vice President for Administration and Finance Tom Fagan all work together to make changes to the meal plans. She said that ResLife updated their housing applications (where students typically choose their meal plans when resigning contracts) in April.
Ruth Butler, administrative assistant for Student Center and Food Services, said that the change allowed for students to receive more in their meal when visiting the grill and not Duke’s Diner.
“Those meals are based on an all-you-can-eat meal at the diner. For a lot of students, their schedules conflict with the diner’s hours,” said Butler.
Another factor in the meal plans increasing, however, is that the cost of some items in the grill have increased. For example, the price of some combo meals, breakfast items, and dishes such as pizza, salads, and grilled sandwiches has gone up by a few cents.
“It’s costing us more to prepare the food, and we’ve got to recoup some of that, so that’s why plans have gone up,” said Unruh.
She compared it to the cost of a Happy Meal from McDonald’s once being under $2 and is now closer to $5, in that the cost of things simply go up over the years.
No one has said directly how much of an impact recent budget cuts at SWOSU have had in these new implementations.