New meal plans to offer variety and curb swipe sharing


Raylene Nortiaga

A student uses a self-serve kiosk in Jones Dining Hall Jan. 23.

Samantha Guerrero

Texas State Dining has revealed it will be implementing a new meal trade system starting in the fall of 2019.

After getting feedback from focus groups and surveys, Chartwells discovered students want a wider variety of choices when using their meal trades and dining dollars. Students will have 12 different meal trade options to choose from. The new system will feature more dining dollars and less meal trade swipes.

“Texas State Dining team has developed entirely new On-Campus Meal Plan offerings that align with the lifestyles of our current Generation Z students. These plans offer more flexibility and customization by now offering more combinations of meal plans,” stated the Chartwells March newsletter.

There are four categories of meal plans to choose from and three subcategories within, making up the 12 options. All options, bronze, silver, gold and maroon, offer meal trades, dining dollars, meal equivalencies, free mobile ordering and guest passes. The maroon plan offers free delivery.

Students on social media were especially frustrated when learning the new system does not allow students to swipe for others. Instead, every plan will be given an allotted number of guest passes, the highest amount being 12 in the maroon plan, and they are to be used at all-you-can-eat dining halls.

Chin Hong Chua, Chartwells resident district manager, said the guest passes will help with upperclassmen taking advantage of students with meal plans. The new system is meant to protect the consumer.

“We hear one side of the story and we also hear the other side of the story where students are relieved they don’t feel pressured by upperclassmen,” Chua said.

Student Government President Alison Castillo said she believes freshmen who may not be confident enough to tell someone that they don’t want to share meal swipes should be protected from the pressures of other students. However, she also understands many students are food insecure and will struggle since they can no longer be swiped by friends.

“There are plenty of pros and plenty of cons,” Castillo said. “It’s proven to work on other campuses statewide, so I don’t see why it wouldn’t work on this campus.”

Imogene Daily, theatre freshman, said she feels as if the system is poorly thought out.

“We are all in this together trying to make ends meet,” Daily said. “If I can use my swipes to make someone’s life easier, then I would be glad to.”

“Upperclassmen pressuring students does sometimes happen from what I heard, but it really isn’t that big of a deal,” Daily said. “Most of the time it is a friend providing a meal for another.”

Currently, the vegetarian and vegan options offered are mostly at all-you-can-eat dining halls and is inconvenient to some students. Indian cuisine will also be added to one of the dining locations.

Ciana Seddon, political science junior, is a vegetarian and is very excited for all of the new vegetarian options.

“There is a really sad amount of options,” Seddon said. “It will be nice not to have to eat cheese pizza and a few vegetables from Commons everyday.”

The new meal plan system will go into effect in the fall of 2019.

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