During the last week of the semester, students rush around buying everything in sight, trying to burn the money left on meal plans that won’t carry over.
This semester, 875 students, on and off campus, purchased meal plans, said Martin Peterson, director of dining services.
Starting this year, students will be able to carry over unused meal-plan funds to the next semester, including spring to fall semesters, Peterson said.
“We have looked at other schools and found a few that allowed students to carry over a balance,” Peterson said. “This will be the first year that we have done this change.”
Dining services didn’t offer any carry over in the past to encourage students to use their meal plans and have extended the hours of both the cafeteria and the Market to accommodate students’ schedules. Peterson said any money that was left over from the plans was put back into the program and used to give students a wider variety.
“In the past, any balance remaining went into the Dining Services fund, which we used for construction and remodels,” Peterson said.
The money collected from leftover meal plans helped fund the new Subway location and the cafeteria’s latest addition, Estampida, which is set to open in the coming weeks.
DSU is one of the few universities in the nation to offer students the ability to regain the funds spent on meal plans, Peterson said.
Before the dining services established this change, Tatum Scoville, a freshman psychology major from Layton, had over $580 left on her meal plan the last day of the 2016 fall semester.
“I think meal plans are a good resource for people living on campus,” Scoville said. “But if I’m living off campus in the future, I don’t think I will get one again.”
During the last few weeks of the semester, the market is abuzz with students attempting to use up the rest of their pre-paid plans.
“I had Meal Plan B,” Scoville said. “Having roughly $580 left on my card was hard. I practically emptied out the Market.”
Brynna Tanner, a sophomore psychology major from Phoenix, lives on campus and is one of the over 7,000 students who does not have a meal plan.
“I don’t have a meal plan because I feel like I won’t spend that much money on food,” Tanner said. “When I can go grocery shopping off campus, I know what I want and how much I am willing to pay for it.”