Editorial: Revised meal plan will help to improve student life

Starting next Fall Quarter, NU students will have new meal plan options. Associated Student Government, nuCuisine, Residence Hall Association and the Residential College Board all worked to revamp the current system and at the end of April, VP of Student Affairs William Banis signed the proposal.

Having been ten years since the last overhaul of meal plans, this successful effort is long overdue and adequately addresses many existing problems. The new system streamlines meal plan options from nine to five different plans with the weekly 13 and the non-resident plan staying the same. The three new options are a weekly 14, an unlimited and a block plan.

Limiting the plans makes the options more comprehensive. Each revised plan offers more food and more flexibility. Pricing will go down per meal but remain similar overall helping to remedy the exorbitant $18-$20 per meal in block plans. For example, the weekly plan allows for some equivalency and is one meal greater than the weekly 13.

However, in efforts to create a sense of community, freshmen will be limited to the weekly plans making it less likely that they will eat outside of dining halls. While the underlying community-building sentiment is admirable, freshmen constitute a substantial portion of students required to have a meal plan. As such, they are equally entitled to the other options. Freshmen too are involved in extracurricular activities that may limit their ability to go to dining halls and should have the opportunity to get their money’s worth on campus. Alternatives to an outright restriction could be mandating the weekly plan for Fall Quarter of freshmen year or immediately assigning enrolled freshmen to the weekly plan but affording them the flexibility to change plans.

Successful passage of the meal plan proposal is a testament to perseverance on the part of various campus organizations It took more than a year of active petitioning and collaboration on the part of several ASG representatives to bring about this meal plan reconstruction. It is just that sort persistence The Daily hopes ASG will emulate in tackling the multitude of important student issues on campus.