Updated: Feb 28
Salisbury University Dining Services will implement a new meal plan option that will start in the fall 2020 semester. It will be priced at $2550 and will provide unlimited access to the Commons and $400 in Dining Dollars. The new plan will replace both the current A and B Plan options.
Currently, the A Plan is priced at $2600 and provides unlimited access but only $250 in Dining Dollars, while the B Plan is priced at $2400 and provides only 200 visits to the Commons and $400 in Dining Dollars.
Students who live on campus are required to purchase either the A or B Plan option. There are many students who are not required to purchase a meal plan, but still choose to buy the A or the B Plan.
The B Plan is by far the most popular option, outpacing the A Plan 4 to 1. Over half of the A Plan holders from the fall 2019 semester downgraded to the B Plan for the spring 2020 semester.
Under the B Plan, students must average 1.7 visits to the Commons a day for their plan to last the entirety of the semester.
Dining Services conducted focus group studies and pulled largely from student workers across admissions, catering and the Commons. The focus groups found that many students feel as if they have to “save swipes,” resulting in a surplus at the end of the semester.
Vice President of Administration and Finance Dr. Marvin Pyles said that the goal of this new meal plan is for students to feel free to visit the Commons as often as they would like and for any food cravings.
“They can come in 10 times a day. I can walk by and get an apple. I can walk by and get an ice cream cone. I don’t have to use a swipe,” Pyles said. “They’re sitting there doing the math in their head, ‘Well, I’m not going to go in just to get a slice of pizza.’ We don’t want them to worry about that. We want them to just go in whenever, or just go to sit with friends.”
The new plan combines the unlimited swipes from the A Plan with the $400 in Dining Dollars from the B Plan. Switching from the A Plan to the new plan will provide a $150 increase in Dining Dollars with a $50 decrease in overall price. Students also have the added benefit of tax-free purchases when they use their Dining Dollars.
Director of Dining Services Owen Rosten believes this new plan is the “best of both worlds,” and students will enjoy it.
“We’ll let you have all the meals you want, and we’ll give you all the Dining Dollars to spend. How could that be better?” said Rosten.
Salisbury University’s in-house dining service is ranked fifth in the nation, according to the National Association of College and University Food Services. Compared to schools across Maryland, Delaware and Virginia, Salisbury University’s price for unlimited dining access is the lowest.
As the new top of the line option, it will be the required meal plan for students living on campus. The C, D and E meal plans will remain available with no changes.
All meal plan options include guest passes. The new plan will have four, while the other meal plans have two. Students who do not use their guest passes, which do not roll over at the end of the semester, are encouraged to donate them to Food for the Flock.
By HALEY TAYLOR
Featured photo: Sofia Carrasco image