Trustees up fees, alter dining

The University Board of Trustees voted Friday to increase tuition and fees. They approved several changes to Dining Services, including revisions to the meal plans and how they can be used. “The board voted … to approve a budget for next year which raises fees but includes substantial increases in student financial aid,” according to a recent press release.

Being concerned about the rising cost of education for the students, trustees raised funding by $9 million for the 2003-04 school year. $2.1 million of that money will go toward scholarships.

“The budget has also trimmed operating costs of the University by approximately $6 million and reduced programs that are no longer in line with the institutions highest priorities,” University President Sidney Ribeau said.

“The trustees approved a $220.6 million educational budget as well as general fee and related auxiliary budgets of $29 million for the 2003 fiscal school year,” according to the press release. In addition to the rise in tuition, fees and financial aid, University meal plans are also going through major changes.

All information given on the new meal plans comes from a recent press release.

The new meal plans will offer five different choices that students are able to pick from with one of those plans being an incentive for off-campus students.

There will be a limited plan for people that do not like to eat a lot but prefer alternate food choices as well, whether it is off campus or wherever. The largest meal plan costs $1,800.

Each of these meal plans including the limited plan will now have what is called “Flexfunds.”

Flexfunds are a certain portion of the overall meal plan balance that is able to be spent at the Bowen Thompson Student Union. The Flexfunds rise as plans get bigger.

Places that the Flexfund portion of the food card can be spent include The Carnation Café, Black Swamp Pub (food only), Bowling Greenery, Wendy’s and any establishment in the Falcon’s Nest.

Non-Flexfunds balance can be spent only at other dining centers on campus or either of the two convenient stores (Chily’s Express and GT Express).

Though the restrictions limits students’ choices, it ensures Dining Services financial security while preventing overcrowding in the food court dining area.