Possible Meal Plan Changes for ‘18-‘19

Discussion and debate surround the potential alterations.

Change could be in the air for the culinary realm on campus, as potential revisions to the current cuisine culture are being discussed. The proposed alterations, as described by Title IX Coordinator and Dean of Students Patti Klein, would mean that the Bishop’s Bistro in Anderson Center would remain open all day, from 7:15 a.m. until 7:30 p.m., instead of only serving food during specific blocks of time for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

“The idea is that students on meal plans can come and go as they please,”  Klein said. “[This proposed change] is the ability to treat the dining hall, really, as your own kitchen”.

More controversial is the suggestion that incoming first-year and transfer commuter students would have $100 of declining balance added to their bill, in addition to the other costs of tuition and fees. Klein said that it was currently unclear if the proposed plan would be expanded to sophomore commuter students in order to make the restructuring more feasible.

“The only thing I’ve heard [in terms of opposition] is about who is going to get charged with [declining balance],” Klein stated.

While the idea of additional costs for transfer students may prove contentious, Klein voiced her optimism that this change could be a positive one.

“It does help to get people in the habit of using declining balance, because it’s cheaper on campus without tax,” she said.

Klein also suggested that the additional declining balance could bring about a greater sense of community on campus.

“Hopefully it creates more community… if a FYSem is getting together, or a group of transfer students, they can all just get food without worrying about who’s going to pay for people who don’t have a meal plan,” Klein said. “It allows people to just gather, and have access to declining balance as well.”

When asked about the possibility that the proposed objective could be extended to current students, Klein said that she hoped that “we can manage this in year one, so that we won’t have to expand it [to current students]… it would grow over four years, but shouldn’t impact current students.”

Because the plan is tentative and not yet sure to be implemented, Klein said that the school still has to figure out what will work the best financially, in collaboration with HUSC.

“I think  [extended Bistro business hours would] be cool,” First-year student Spencer Larson said. “I’ll get out of class and then talk to a professor until, like, 3 [p.m.], and [the Bistro] will be closed.” If the Bistro were open all day, he believed, students wouldn’t have this dilemma.

Other students, however, weren’t thrilled about the potential new declining balance requirement. First-year Kris Murray described it as “unfair” to commuter students. while First-year Ryen Nielsen described it as unnecessary spending.

“[It would be] shoving money at people when they’re not going to spend all of it,” Nielsen said. “If they do this, what’s going to stop them from raising the tuition again?”

While the changes could be seen as positive or negative, it’s important to note that at this moment they are only a possibility, and if Hamline students have any questions or concerns regarding the proposal, they shouldn’t hesitate to raise them to Dining Services.