Rob and Jenny

After consultation with the Student Government Association, Sodexho released information about the 2008-2009 meal plans this week. The changes come as the result of conversations with Sodexho Director George Murray, Associate Dean Sue Smith and Associate Vice-President Hugh Bradford. Several students, led by Student Affairs Committee Chair first-year Liz Brodsky and Dining Services Policy Coordinator sophomore Matt Muskin, dedicated their time to turning this initiative into a reality.

After building a valuable working relationship with Sodexho last semester, SGA partnered this semester with Sodexho in an attempt to continue to improve everyday life on campus. We are hopeful that the new plans will increase flexibility for students who were frustrated with their meal plans this year. Both the SGA and Sodexho want to ensure that the student voices were the driving force behind these changes, which was accomplished by the creation of the Meal Plan Working Group, co-chaired by Matt and Liz.

The changes for next year are as follows:

There will no longer be a “freshman” meal plan. This plan and the Premiere Unlimited plan have become one. Next year, the Premiere plan will offer unlimited access to Frank, one meal at the Edge per day, 35 Coop meals per semester, and $200 of Flex Cash (versus $100 in the old plan). The plan offers fewer set meals (it was previously 45 per semester) and instead offers students more flexibility in the way they choose to spend their Flex Cash.

The Classic Unlimited Plan will no longer offer three Coop meals per week and will instead grant students $350 of Flex Cash to spend in whatever fashion they choose. This “declining balance” system really puts the power in the hands of the students. They will no longer have to worry about spending less than the set value of a meal or going over the limit and paying the difference on ‘Gate Cash. The Flex Cash will not roll over semester to semester in any meal plan.

A major change is going to be made to the 14 Meal Plan that will make it much more attractive to students. There will no longer be a “no double swipe” policy. Therefore, students on the 14 Meal Plan will be able to swipe twice within the same meal period. This was one of the most enthusiastically supported suggested changes we heard from students on the 14 Meal Plan, and we are proud to have been able to solve that problem. Students will still be limited to a maximum of three swipes per day.

There will be no changes to the five and ten Meal Plans this semester, but the discussion between the SGA, Sodexho, and the University regarding dining services at Colgate will continue into the future and will leave time for more positive changes in the coming years.

We hope that all students see these changes as positive examples of the SGA making a difference for Colgate students. We have been excited to report such advances on both small and large items that we promised to pursue during our campaign last year. We appreciate all the hard work that Matt, Liz, and many other students have done during this academic year and hope that there are students as motivated as them to take on issues like this for years to come.

With any questions or comments about dining services at Colgate, email Matt Muskin at [email protected]