Southern changes meal plans and food offerings for upcoming year

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Reems Landreth

FSC REWORKS DINING PLANS & OPTIONS AHEAD OF FALL SEMESTER

The Division of Student Life sent an email to the student body outlining a new meal plan structure on Tuesday morning.

“We are introducing some changes… so our students can enjoy more choices on how and where to spend their meal plan funds,” the email began. 

The new plan replaces the former system, which used dollar-equivalent points and Wynee’s Bistro-compatible swipes for a new “Dining Dollars” system.  

Wynee’s Bistro will see the largest change. Instead of being a buffet or all-you-can-eat, it will now become an á la carte location with the option of a $6 meal deal. The meal deal will include an entrée, two sides, a dessert and a drink. 

“[Due to this change,] all the portions go up in size, too,” Student Body President Arjeet Tipirneni said in a text message. 

While the cost of the four meal plans will remain the same, the email included new information regarding the allocation of the new Dining Dollars and how they will roll over from week to week. The email also stated that the amount of Dining Dollars per meal plan has been determined based off the “meal deal” at Wynee’s Bistro:  

• “20 Meal Plan” ($2,355 per term) will consist of 120 Dining Dollars per week and up to 24 unused dollars will rollover from one week to the next, for a maximum weekly allowance of 144 dollars.
• “15 Meal Plan” ($1,865 per term) will consist of 90 Dining Dollars per week and up to 18 unused dollars will rollover from one week to the next, for a maximum weekly allowance of 108 dollars.
• “10 Meal Plan” ($1,510 per term) will consist of 60 Dining Dollars per week and up to 12 unused dollars will rollover from one week to the next, for a maximum weekly allowance of 72 dollars.
• “5 Meal Plan” ($720 per term) will consist of 30 Dining Dollars per week and up to 6 unused dollars will rollover from one week to the next, for a maximum weekly allowance of 36 dollars. 

A balance of Dining Dollars that exceeds the weekly threshold will reset on Monday mornings prior to the college’s opening of business and, as in previous semesters, a full reset will occur at the end of each semester. Also as before, prorated plan values will be used during partial weeks, such as breaks and finals week. 

While the true cost per Dining Dollar is unconfirmed, a simple estimate would be a total dining dollars possible from the semester (weekly allotment times 16) divided by the cost per term. In this system, the “20 Meal Plan” is the closest to a true dollar-for-dollar amount at $1.23 per DD, followed by the “15” ($1.30 per DD), the “5” ($1.50 per DD) and the “10” ($1.57 per DD). 

Dean of Students Mike Crawford and Director of Food Services Tim Raible were unavailable for comment when we reached out immediately following the announcement.  

While student reaction has been mostly positive, some students took to social media to express confusion and frustration about the change.  

“Digging the new meal plan options, but kinda upset that for the lowest meal plan, only 6 DD will roll over every week from what’s left,” senior Tina Pagano said. “In the past all unused points would roll over, now it just feels like I’m forced to use the money that way I don’t waste it.”  

Student’s meal plans can be changed up to the Friday of the first week of the semester (Aug. 23) by contacting the Student Accounts Office, also known as the Business Office.  

CAMPUS SEES DRASTIC CHANGES TO FOOD ON CAMPUS

The email also mentioned new dining options coming to campus, including Steak ‘n Shake, a new sushi line, a Boar’s Head Deli and a monthly Farmer’s Market.  

Steak ‘n Shake will be located in the southeast corner of Wynee’s Bistro, at the former site of the Nina B. Hollis Wellness Center’s Cycling Room and the 24-hour room. According to a release from the college, plans call for an area of screened outdoor seating. Main seating during extended hours will not require access to the main dining room of Wynee’s Bistro.  

Earlier this summer, Tipirneni went to see the site of the Steak ‘n Shake, set to open in September. The restaurant will be operated and staffed by the college’s food service vendor, Guest Services, and will be open seven days a week. The complete menu and hours of operation have not been released at this time.
The layout of Wynee’s Bistro will also be changing due to the new à la carte format and Steak ‘n Shake. Though the finalized layout has not been made available at this time, it is suspected that the main entrance of Wynee’s Bistro is changing, as well as the purchasing locations where students would swipe their IDs for food, according to Tipirneni.  

Regular food options at Wynee’s Bistro are changing as well. Among other things, it will have a permanent sushi line and will share suppliers with Publix. Also, students will see the addition of two more Coke Freestyle machines and a permanent breakfast station with a pancake maker.  

“I’m so excited for the sushi line,” senior Serena Manzi said. “Go FSC, honestly.”  

Though the Southern is waiting for confirmation from administration, below Wynee’s Bistro and Steak ‘n Shake, the Terrace Cafe is said to be receiving updates; its fryers may be removed before the start of the academic year. It is also rumored that the hours of operation for the Terrace Cafe will be changing as well.  

In the email from Student Life, it was reported that the Terrace Cafe will begin selling Boar’s Head Deli items as a part of the Dining Dollars program, but there has been no elaboration regarding cost, products or hours.  

The Student Government Association’s Farmer’s Market, which was created last semester, will become a monthly Farmer’s Market occurring on the second Wednesday of each month, starting in September. The dates for the upcoming fall semester are Sept. 11, Oct. 9 and Nov. 13. The market will be open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and it will be located outside of the Terrace Cafe.  

“After three successful Farmer’s Market[s] last semester, we are looking forward to the six this upcoming academic year,” Tipirneni said.  

Tipirneni said that close to 5,000 points were spent at each of the Farmer’s Markets last semester.

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