Returning and incoming students registering for the fall semester are seeing a whole new set of meal plan options. The changes come one year after a major meal plan overhaul incorporating tiered pricing.
“Last year we tried out a system that offered cheaper meal plans with less Sodexo bucks,” said ORU Chief Operating Officer Tim Philley. “We needed a restructuring to be able to address the specific needs and actual participation of the student body and drive the price point down.”
The idea behind the tiered trial for 2015-2016 allowed the student to select either a set number of meals per week or unlimited access to Saga and an amount of Sodexo bucks to use over the course of each semester. The student paid an adjusted price according to their selection. After evaluating the effectiveness of this program, administration has opted for a solution more tailored to the lifestyle of each student.
The most common complaint from students came in regards to the hours Saga is open during the day. While it is typical of working adults to be able to make it to dinner before 7 p.m., many students were missing dinner due to class, athletics and other activities. Saga will be opening for a late-night dinner option from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. four nights a week to address the issue.
“We wanted to fund another option for meals that offered good value without raising the cost to the student,” said Philley.
Late-night Saga will offer pizza, the grill and the salad bar. These are mostly made-to-order items in order to prevent the potential waste of any mass-produced meals.
The new meal plans will all be priced the same to allow students to choose the most appropriate option for their lifestyle.
The All-Access plan will not include Sodexo bucks, but the plan overall costs an average of $2 per meal. The most prominent issue with the 2015-2016 structuring was students running out of meals on the 10 meals per week plan. Students were forced to spend supplementary cash throughout the week or be hungry. While it is more expensive than last year’s lowest priced 10 meal per week plan, there are 224 extra meal-times available because of Late- night Saga.
The next level 17 meals per week and 200 Sodexo bucks, offers three more meals per week and 100 extra bucks in comparison to last year.
Last year students on the All-Access plans with Sodexo bucks only used 7-10 meals per week on average, the higher levels of Sodexo bucks are being adjusted to reflect such usage.
For commuters, the new meal plan pricing includes options for both Saga meals and Sodexo bucks. 10 meals costs just $60 – saving an average of $2 a meal. There are also blocks of 25 and 50 meals. Another option offers 25 meals plus 50 Sodexo bucks for $180, or 50 meals plus 25 Sodexo bucks for $275.
The administration hopes to address the unique lifestyle of every student, including commuters. They acknowledged the various habits of the majority of students by offering a late-night option at Saga and a variety of combinations of meals and Sodexo bucks.
For more information on changes to campus dining, logon to oruoracle.com
Story by Christen Latini, Photo by Wyatt Bullard