In recent years, revisions have been made to the meal plan at Southern Adventist Univesity.
According to Doug Frood, executive director of budgeting and financial analysis, the biggest concern has always been to satisfy eating needs of students, which is the main purpose of having a meal plan.
That concern contributed to the requirement for all dorm students to have a meal plan. The policy resumed six years ago after the requirements were cancelled for a test period of two years. According to Financial Administration, the test period also caused Southern to lose half a million dollars, which made finances hard for the food service department.
“The amount of issues with people not eating massively went up,” said Frood.
Because of this concern big changes were made in the school’s food service department, he explained. The times at which the cafeteria was open were modified and the payment process were adjusted to facilitate meals to students.
“Meal plan is meant to make things easier for students,” Frood said.
This is reflected in the fact that students can get refunds for the money that they do not use, and can add money to their accounts if they run out.
With meal plan, Southern intends to make the financial burden less on the students while still providing enough food for all who want it.
“[Meal plan] is a good deal for an actual lunch, whether the food is the best or not,” said Frood. “[It is] way more food than I can get at Taco Bell [for the same price].”
Some students have expressed concern about how they are charged for their food.
“[Meal plan] is quick and easy, but it is also a waste of money,” said Erin Belgrave, freshmen health science major. “It makes us waste our money faster.”
While Financial Administration said meal plan-tracking and efficiency has gotten better in recent years, they are still looking for ways to make the process more efficient and easier for both students and staff.