Several months after the Wesleyan Student Assembly (WSA) released a report on the flaws of the current meal system, a campus-wide e-mail on Friday announced a new set of changes that will start next semester, including an increase of 65 points to the all-points plan, an increase of 30 points to the 105-meal plan, and an increase of 21 points to the 135-meal plan.
Piloted by WSA members Mike Pernick ’10, Jen Liebschutz ’11, Ben Firke ’12 and Zachary Malter ’13, the point increase will be the first changes to the meal plan in three years.
“One of the key points we were pushing when we were negotiating with the administration is that every single year prices go up across campus,” WSA President Pernick said. “At the same time that we’re spending more, we get the same number of points.”
A research memo the WSA released in February highlighted many problems with the current meal plan, including an estimated $1 million total in student meals and points that go unused every year. While many of the figures in the memo were disputed by the administration, they ultimately reached a compromise with the WSA to increase points to compensate for inflation.
“Making these changes was a very systematic process,” said WSA Dining Committee member Malter. “We wanted to collaborate with students and administrators as much as possible. We met with numerous students and surveyed them about the current meal plan system and found that a number of them had problems with the system. This was therefore a big priority for the WSA this year.”
Despite the increase in points, students will not see a price hike in their Residential Comprehensive Fee (RCF), according to Director of Usdan University Center Michelle Myers-Brown.
“The administration intended to raise the point values for the coming year since the RCF was increasing and we have not had an increase in the points per plan in the past year,” wrote Myers-Brown in an e-mail to The Argus. “Therefore the fees will not raise any higher than already projected and published.”
Although the WSA is pleased with the new changes, they intend to advocate for other revisions to the meal plan in the future.
“We tried to look for solutions that would be within the capacity of the administration given their finances—we wanted to deliver something tangible by the end of the year,” Malter said. “This, however, is not the end. We have a number of other proposals for improving the dining system on campus.”