This semester MVNU commuter students have the opportunity to purchase meal plans for the cafeteria.
After several meetings during the summer months, administrators decided to provide this program to the MVNU community, Director of Food Services Rob Stiltner said.
“It was just something that the school was interested in offering the commuter students, something to make them want to come in and get something to eat,” Stiltner said.
Campus officials created three different categories of meal plans. By offering a variety of options, commuters are able to purchase the plan that best fits their individual needs and schedules.
The three categories are cafeteria meals with Road Bucks, cafeteria meals only and Road Bucks only.
Under each category, students have three levels to choose from. The plans and prices are based on the number of meals or amount of Road Bucks they wish to purchase.
“It’s worked out fantastic,” Stiltner said. “The response has been enormous.”
Midway through the semester, more than 70 students had already enrolled in a plan. Others said they plan to sign up next semester.
Commuter students said they are drawn to the meal plan option as it allows them to save money in the long run.
Commuters already had the option of buying individual meals at the caf. The price is $5.25 for lunch and $6.25 for dinner.
But, with the meal plan, commuters save 10 to 20 percent on their meals for the semester.
Senior Lauren Preston, who has a 15-minute commute from Utica, finds the plans “a little pricey,” especially since faculty and staff still eat for less. Faculty and staff pay $3.50 for lunch and $4 for dinner.
Regardless, Preston said she is thankful for the program and options available.
“It really does help not having to worry about getting food somewhere else or figuring out whether or not I have time between classes to go off campus to eat,” she said.
Preston purchased “Plan A” which gave her 25 cafeteria meals and $25 in Road Bucks. However, she has already used the full amount and is considering moving to “Plan B” for spring semester.
The plans range in price from $22.50, for $25 in Road Bucks, to $395, for 75 cafeteria meals and $100 in Road Bucks.
This largest plan averages out to about $4 a meal with $100 to be used at the 586 or Happy Bean, saving a student 20 percent overall.
Freshman Rachel Knudsen commutes a half hour from Granville. She purchased “Plan D,” giving her 25 cafeteria meals.
“We have the wonderful advantage as commuting students to eat food from home with our families, or pack whatever we want for lunch,” Knudsen said. “But, there are often really long days where it is nice to just swipe into the caf and hang out with friends for dinner.”
Freshman Shiloh Six who has a 25 minute commute also purchased “Plan D.”
“The meal plan makes my long days on campus much easier,” Six said. “I have 8 a.m. classes four days a week, but I’m also involved in musical groups that rehearse late in the evenings. With the meal plan, I don’t have to worry about packing lunch and dinner on the busy days.”
However, the meal plans do not work for everyone, like freshman art major Alina Burton who travels 30 minutes to campus.
“Getting a meal plan doesn’t interest me because it isn’t practical for my situation,” Burton said.
Burton, who has dietary restrictions, finds it easier to pack her meals at home where the options conform to her specific needs.
“There have certainly been times that it would be convenient to go eat in the cafeteria,” Burton said. “But, overall, it simply isn’t worth it for me.”
Commuter students who are interested can purchase a meal plan at Student Accounts, located on the first floor of Founders Hall or by calling Financial Aid at (866) 686-8243.