Memorial Union explains student meal plans

Kelsie O'Connell

Many students at Washburn believe the prices are high when it comes to the cafeteria food at Washburn.

Yet, compared to other schools, some students say our Dining Dollar system is set up just right.

Washburn allows students to choose from a meal plan that gives the students a certain amount they can spend through Chartwells, Washburn’s dining program, throughout a semester. The average meal plan, called the value plan, allows students $2,390 in Ichabod dining dollars and $215 in Bod Bucks. This amount should last a student an entire semester.

“The university put together a chart that is given to students on a meal plan,” said Matt Beadleston, Director of Dining Services at Washburn. “The Living Learning Center Value Plan is based on an average of $66.39 per week.”

At some schools in Kansas, such as Kansas Wesleyan, the meal plan works on a weekly plan. Students at that school have a weekly budget when it comes to buying food. Students at Washburn seem to favor a full semester plan compared to a weekly.

“I’d rather have a semester’s worth of money given to me to spend at once,” said Jocelyn Harper, freshman. “That way, if I want to go buy out the Corner Store, I can whenever I want.”

Students use Dining Dollars to eat in the Union Market as well as buy multiple goods in the Corner Store. Whether it is deodorant, coffee, or a candy bar, students often go in and buy a variety of things at one time.

The idea of giving students all of their money for the entire semester isn’t an idea that was set up recently for Washburn.

“It was established many years ago by the university,” said Beadleston, commenting on the semester set-up.

Yet, it is true that prices have gone up through Chartwells, because prices almost everywhere have gone up.

“Like any other retail provider, yes, our prices had to go up as well,” said Beadleston. “There is not a set price of increase or percentage. It is based on the CPI for food away from home and also local product cost from the vendors.

Prices will continue to rise in college food programs throughout the state and even the country.

The meal plan any school chooses plays a role in the way students look at prices. Either way, prices will fluctuate up and down for a long time to come.