Though individual blocks will be worth the same amount at the dining halls, the prices of overall meal plans might be rising for the next academic year. Some students said while they aren’t particularly happy about the potential change, they’ll still be purchasing dining plans.
Currently, the prices posted on the OSU Dining Services website for meal plans in the 2014-15 academic year are all at least $20 more than the prices from this academic year.
The largest increase is set for the Block 450 plan, which would cost $2,358, an $83 increase from its current price. Meanwhile, the Block 350 plan would cost $1,895, a $20 increase from its current price. The other four meal plans would increase by various amounts between $20 and $50.
Each block has a $5 value at campus dining locations.
The plans offer various amounts of blocks and access: the Unlimited 10 includes dine-in access at any Traditions location with 10 blocks per week for other dining locations and $150 in BuckID cash; the Unlimited 4 includes dine-in access at any Traditions location with four blocks per week for other dining locations; Block 350 includes 350 blocks with $150 BuckID cash; Block 450 has 450 blocks with $150 BuckID cash; Weekly Block 25 has 25 blocks per week with $150 BuckID cash; and Weekly Block 20 has 20 blocks per week with $150 BuckID cash.
If all 57,466 Columbus campus students enrolled in Fall Semester 2013 purchased the least expensive meal plan, the Unlimited 4, the cost would total $103 million. With the potential price increase, that total would rise to $106 million.
Some students, however, aren’t too concerned about the rising prices,
“I’m going to have the 350 plan, and if it’s rising by $20, it won’t really affect me,” said Lauren Barnett, a first-year in economics and marketing.
She added that she will be living in a residence hall next year, and she said she thinks the meal plan prices should be addressed if those prices are rising every year.
Dave Isaacs, spokesman for the Office of Student Life, said the prices are just estimates and have not yet been set for next year.
“As we always do to help students with planning in January, we post potential housing and dining rates for the upcoming academic year. The numbers are purely estimates and are clearly labeled as such, because rates are subject to approval by the Board of Trustees,” Isaacs said in an email.
The Board is next set to meet June 5-6 but the schedule for the meeting has not yet been released.
The OSU Dining Services website has a notice on the webpage where the 2014-15 meal plan prices are listed that notes “meal plans and fees undergo a lengthy review and approval process and have not yet been finalized for the 2014-15 year.”
Isaacs said the value of a block would remain $5, even with price changes for each plan as a whole.
An OSU student created a petition on Change.org, asking OSU to keep the price of a meal plan the same as the cost in 2013-14. The petition was removed from the website as of Monday and the student who created it declined to comment.
There were mixed reactions among OSU students regarding the changes.
Caitlin Brett, a third-year in landscape architecture who works as a manager at Kennedy Commons and 12th Avenue Bread Company, said it would be difficult for freshmen not to have meal plans. However, she thinks the meal plans available could include less blocks and blocks could be carried over from one semester to the next. Brett has worked at the dining halls for roughly 2 1/2 years.
“Generally, people get sick of eating at the same places every day,” Brett said.
Some students said they’ll get a meal plan next year regardless of price.
“It’s annoying but I’ll still get my meal plan because I have to,” said Monica Adams, a first-year in neuroscience.
Adams said she will be living on campus next year, but would like a way of getting around meal plans.
“If I had the choice of living on campus and not having a meal plan, I would definitely do that,” she said.