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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Chartwells proposes new meal plan, dining dollar system

 
 

Chartwells, the food management division of Compass Group USA, proposed a new meal plan system to be implemented in the 2013-2014 academic year.
Students will recognize familiar aspects of the 2012-13 plans in the new meal plans.
There will be an increase in the number of meals included in the plan and a decrease in dining dollars. The dining dollars will not roll over from the fall to spring semesters as they have in previous years.
Some A&M students preferred the plans they purchased last year.
“It was good to have an excess of dining dollars, like if I wanted to buy a snack at Rattlers in the Commons,” said Jill Palmer, sophomore International Studies major who was an on-campus resident last school year.
When asked how she believed students would react to the discontinuation of the “rolling over” of dining dollars, the Director of Residence Life, Chareny Rydl, said the reaction would depend on individual students.
“Honestly I think it depends on the individual student and how they use their meal plans and dining dollars,” Rydle said.
Another key implementation of “meal trades” and “meal trade zones” mark the new plan. A “meal trade” is a meal used anywhere other than Sbisa or Duncan dining halls. Under the proposed Corps of Cadets, mandatory freshman and sophomore, and resident meal plans, only three meal trades may be used per day, with only one used during each of the meal trade time zones of breakfast, lunch, dinner or late night.
The Resident District Manager of Chartwells, David Riddle, acknowledged that students have complicated schedules and said Chartwells wanted to be accommodating to students.
“We don’t have it all worked out yet,” Riddle said. “It’s important to create some flexibility on a five thousand acre campus. We’ll have a schedule published by August 1 and make it clear what the parameters are.”
Riddle, who worked for Dining Services before Texas A&M partnered with Chartwells, said meal plans do not change every academic year. However, this year the plans were “driven by the University’s long-term investments and vision for dining.”
Riddle described these changes as encouragement for more students to dine in the larger dining halls, like Duncan and Sbisa Dining Center.
Meal plans are not the only aspect of dining that will be witnessing changes in the fall. New dining venues will be added across campus, and numerous facilities are undergoing renovations and drastic overhauls with a fall finish date.
This summer, in Hullabaloo Hall -the under-construction Northside dorm complex, a service location will be added inside to carry Starbucks coffee. The Daily Grind in Blocker will re-open as OutTakes Quick Cuisine, with added sandwich and salad selections.
“After this summer, people are going to know something is different,” Riddle said.
Rydl said Chartwells and the Department of Residence Life also “realize a need to renovate the Commons” and hope to have the capital plan for renovations presented to the Board of Regents sometime in August.

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