Changes include 105-swipe commuter plan, more dining dollars for residents
Photos courtesy of Xavier University | The meal plans for the 2018-19 academic year will include the addition of a 105-meal swipe plan for commuters. Residents will be able to choose between two plans with unlimited swipes, Xavier Blue and Xavier Silver.
Students will see a number of changes to their on-campus dining options for the 2018-19 school year. Among those will be adjustments to meal plans for both commuters and residents.
For commuters, a 105-swipe plan has been added to the 80-, 40-, and 25-swipe options. All four plans will still offer $150 in dining dollars. Residents will have two options: Xavier Blue and Xavier Silver. Both offer unlimited swipes, and the only difference is in the number of dining dollars. The Blue plan includes $400, while the Silver plan includes $200.
According to Assistant Vice President for Auxiliary Services Dr. Jude Kiah, the purpose of the new 105-swipe option for commuters is to give them more flexibility. He explained that the Auxiliary Services staff had noticed that students with 80 swipes would often run out before the end of the semester.
As for the options for residents, gone is the Xavier White, or 225-swipe plan, which offers roughly two swipes per day. Kiah said there were two reasons for this. First, the 225 plan, even though it cost less per semester, cost as much as $2 more per meal. Second, it meant that students had to either eat in the caf only twice a day or otherwise buy food.
“If you eat 225, you literally can’t eat three meals a day, seven days a week, and I didn’t think that was fair,” Kiah said, “especially given the fact that it looks cheaper, but it’s like going to the store and buying the cheapest ketchup that is really way more expensive per ounce, and I just didn’t think that was fair. We all didn’t think that was fair.”
“We have been trying to create an environment (in the caf) where students can make good choices about what they eat. They don’t have to binge — you know, like ‘I have to get as much food as I can right now because I’m using this swipe.’ An unlimited system allows them free access to Hoff as many times a day as they want.”
The increase in dining dollars for residents — from $100 and $250 to $200 and $400 — also aims for greater flexibility. Kiah explained that an audit in the fall showed students had used more than 50 percent of their dining dollars during the first five weeks of the semester. Retailers saw this reflected in a sales boom followed by a sharp drop-off.
Without enough dining dollars for the remainder of the semester, Kiah said, students then would have to eat at the caf more frequently.
“I think we’re a national class of food operation. However, I don’t care where you eat that’s national class. If you ate there for 10 months every day, and that’s all you ever ate, you’d get pretty tired of it,” Kiah said. “And so the idea of a good retail program is to enrich our residential plan so that people feel (like they can eat at) different places, different food, different options, to keep things fresh.”
Additionally, Kiah explained, there are currently more students with meal plans than Hoff can accommodate at any given time. Therefore, the increase in dining dollars seeks both to avoid menu fatigue as well as ease congestion in the caf.
“The building isn’t going anywhere,” Kiah said. “We’re not just going to blow it up and build another one, so we need to have a program which does the enrichment and certainly provides the value and variety that students want, and then secondly, we need to basically give people attractive enough options so that they will eat somewhere else because frankly, we have a limited space in Hoff.”
By: Ellen Siefke ~Managing Editor~