Courtesy of Devon Brown
After a brief period of panic and frantic spending for some at the end of last semester, those who bought too grand of a dining plan have a few extra bucks in their accounts.
After Ohio State University Residences and Dining Services decided to refund partial credit for unused blocks and implement a new meal plan option at the end of Fall Semester, many students seized the chance to switch to a meal plan that might be more suitable.
The $3 per unused block was refunded to students’ BuckIDs after Fall Semester.
Zia Ahmed, senior director of University Residences and Dining Services, said he felt students were very appreciative of the quick adjustment in response to the concerns about unused blocks. However, the refunds were only given because of the unforeseen meal plan issues that surfaced, and aren’t planned to be distributed in the future.
“Refunds were just a one-time thing because it was a unique situation where the meal plan was not only new, but also students really didn’t have any experience with the meal plan,” Ahmed said. “That’s why we felt it was important for us to do something in response to that.”
Lexi Carson, a second-year student in journalism, said she had about 125 blocks left at the end of the semester, which gave her an estimated $375 refund on her BuckID.
“It was really nice because I had a lot left over that I wouldn’t have had time to get rid of,” Carson said. “Otherwise it would have been wasted.”
She said she hopes to use the extra money at CVS or Kroger to buy groceries and has changed her meal plan this semester to the new 350-block plan, which cost $1,850 and comes with $150 cash on the student’s BuckID. Last semester she purchased the $2,175 450-block plan, which was then the smallest block plan available at that time.
Zach Boden, a first-year in business, said he felt his $60 refund wasn’t significant but still plans to spend the money at various off-campus dining locations.
“It was better than them going to waste,” Boden said. “I didn’t have that many left so it didn’t affect me much.”
The new 350-block plan has joined OSU’s four other meal plans: the traditional plan, the unlimited plan, the 450-block plan and a 600 block plan. The traditional plan offers students 19 meals a week at traditional dining locations such as North, Morrill and Kennedy commons along with two additional blocks that can be used at other operations. The unlimited plan offers unlimited meals at traditions dining along with 10 additional blocks per week that can be used at all other dining locations. Each block has a value of $5.
Ahmed said that with the implementation of the new plan and a better understanding of the overall block system, student concerns should decrease Spring Semester.
“I think simply the awareness and the knowledge will really help them manage their plan better this semester,” Ahmed said.