By Grace Beckner
Updates have been made to the student meal plan to include “dining dollars” that can be spent at dining locations other than the cafeteria.
Some students have voiced concerns over the changes, saying it caused some worry and confusion when they found out.
“I was a little bit wary because I really liked the way [the meal plan] was set up before,” said Hanna Brock, a junior psychology major. “I just don’t know how I feel about the dining dollars in general. I just didn’t really see a point in it.”
The new meal plan structure was meant to keep up with trends present at other universities and provide students with flexible options, said Mariano Monzu, Trevecca’s chief financial officer.
The price of the unlimited meal plan has increased 10.6 percent this year, from $4,700 to $5,200 for two semesters of an all access meal plan.
Monzu said the price of food would have gone up for students even if the meal plan had stayed the same. He said the change is not saving anyone money, but it is ensuring students have options.
There are two meal plans available for residential students: the all access meal plan and the limited access meal plan.
According to trevecca.sodexomyway.com, the all access plan includes 21 swipes per week in the cafeteria and $200 dining dollars that can be spent at the coffee shops, the Hub, Taco Cubo and the C-Store.
The limited access meal plan is available via application through the office of student development for those who live in on-campus apartments, which allows for 12 meal swipes per week in the cafeteria and 250 dining dollars.
The Sodexo website also advertises three options for commuting students. There are plans allowing for 25, 45 or 75 meal swipes per semester at the cafeteria, each with 50 dining dollars that can be spent at other on-campus dining locations.
Monzu said the change has been a long time coming. He said talks about modernizing Trevecca’s outdated system have been going on for the past three years, but the changes could not be made overnight.
“I would not say that I’m unhappy, but I have had better from the school in previous years,” said Brock.
Brock does not know how she feels about the addition of the dining dollars as a way to purchase food yet, but she does miss using meal swipes to get chicken quesadillas from the Hub and lemonades from 1901.
“Now I can’t do that without using my dining dollars, and I think that kind of sucks because I miss them,” Brock said.
Brock said the people around her have similar concerns to hers, and while she does appreciate the variety of options the new meal plan provides, she worries the overall quality might not meet expectations.
“There are a variety of things that we can order with our dining dollars. I just think that the quality is not really there yet, but the variety is,” Brock said. “I do like the availability of other coffees, like I can get a frappuccino with my dining dollars, whereas I couldn’t get that with my meal swipe last year.”
Sodexo provides food for several of the surrounding Nashville universities, such as Vanderbilt, Belmont and Lipscomb, with a system similar to what is now in place at Trevecca. Five of the eight other Nazarene universities use Sodexo as well.
Carry-out containers for those who are unable to eat in the cafeteria can be purchased for $10 at the register with cash, credit card or Boone Bucks.