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BG Falcon Media

The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 30, 2023

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Meal plan rollover is here to stay – at least for now

Students won’t have to worry about the University eliminating meal plan rollover in the near future.

Meal plans purchased for the 2007-08 academic year keep the ability to rollover end-of-semester balances to future semesters as long as the student remains at the University.

Officials attempted to change the meal plan last school year by getting rid of rollover, but were unable to do so.

Gail Finan, director of dining services, said that although all the appropriate persons approved the new meal plan proposal for last school year, the new plan could not be adopted because there were not enough resources available to take on such a transition.

“So as of right now, there is no plan to change the meal plan,” Finan said.

Upperclassmen currently have residential dollars, flex funds, rollover residential dollars, rollover flex funds and BG1 capabilities to keep track of, said Finan.

On top of those five categories, the University would need to have a separate place for semester rollover for those students as well, which is why the University does not have the capabilities to perform such a transition.

The current meal plan provides students with many advantages, such as balances expiring only once a student leaves the University, graduates or is not registered for two consecutive semesters.

So when students study abroad, their meal plan money is here waiting for them, Finan said.

Students also get the benefit of using their meal plans at campus stores such as Chily’s, Temptations in Offenhauer and Cravings in Founders, which is not an option on other universities.

Not many other schools have meal plan rollover, Finan said.

The University has had meal plan rollover for the last five years, which was added at the same time as flex funds. Prior to this system, the U niversity was like most other colleges with the “use it or lose it” plans, which only refunded the difference between a student’s meal plan and the next lowest one offered.

Proposals were made last year in a move to rebuild the outdated MacDonald Dining Hall, which was built in the ’60s. The leftover money from meal plans would go towards the $12 million project.

“I know people think we’re awful,” Finan said.

She explained that any money that doesn’t rollover goes into a holding fund, which is used exclusively for campus-wide dining services improvements, like a new dishwasher for the Sundial.

“Last year students understood the need to build for the future,” said Jill Carr, assistant vice president of Student Affairs.

Daniel Jacoby, student trustee to the Board of Trustees, heard opposite student comments.

“I know some of my friends were worried their money would get taken away,” Jacoby said.

A friend of Jacoby has the $1,339 Bronze meal plan and still has hundreds of dollars left over at the end of the semester.

A meal plan proposal would have to go through the hands of a Food Advisory Board, the associate vice president, vice president and president of Student Affairs and finally the Board of Trustees.

“Student leaders would have input as well as the larger group,” Carr said.

USG, RSA and the Latino Student Union all had open forums for these discussions in the past, so students would have a say.

“I think we, as a University, must plan for the future and use reserve money to update all facilities including dining facilities in order to stay competitive,” Carr said.

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