New meal plans, dining hours and swipe limits

A new school year calls for new meal plans and services for California Lutheran University students. In response to the students’ complaints of last year’s meal plans, Associated Students of California Lutheran University Government handed the duty to Junior Senator Daniel Lacey to get the issues resolved.

“Some of the biggest complaints about meal plans last year was that the double swipe was gone, meal times were adjusted and walk in price was high for non-residents and commuters,” Lacey said. “I thought those three aspects were the biggest issues and they needed to be discussed.

To get the issues resolved, Lacey met with last year’s Director of Auxiliaries Tom Visvikis and got involved with Associate Vice President of Facilites, Ryan Van Ommeren, along with Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students,  Melinda Roper, and Associate Director of Housing Operations, Nathan Fall.    

They all sat down last November and discussed the issues and how they could effectively change the program to meet the student’s needs.

“I think the new meal plans  are  great and offer more flexibility for students. Additionally, at Cal Lutheran students can use a meal at every dining location which is not the norm on other campuses,” Associate Director of Student Life Chris Paul said.

The Director of Auxillaries, Clinton Oie, said the changes were student-driven and they had to change the hours of the meal periods to try to better accommodate people in activities or classes that run late.

“I think the new hours for both [the Centrum and Ullman Commons] will serve our students well. We continually got feedback about closing the commons too early when students like to eat a little later,”  Paul said.

Ullman Commons is now open until 8 p.m. Monday through Friday. Centrum Cafe is now open from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Fridays.

Residence Life kept the 19 meal plans allowing only one swipe per meal block from last school year for those who do prefer it. In response to those who didn’t, they added the 210 and 190 block plans that allow students to swipe up to six times with 15-minute intervals between swipes. However, the 190 block plan is not available for freshmen.

“We wanted to create two plans for commuters and graduate students,” Lacey said. “We came up with the Combo 25 plan and the Combo 50 plan for students with bonus money they can use at various locations like Jamba Juice or Starbucks,” Lacey said.

Ashley McCoy, a senior who has gone through the multitude of meal plans offered at Cal Lutheran, said she was happy about the multiple swipes during meal blocks. McCoy said  she missed that option last year when it was limited to a single swipe.

McCoy said she uses her meal swipes at Ullman-to-go because it is convenient for her busy schedule.

“I really like Ullman to-go …it’s way more convenient than cooking sometimes. It’s faster, especially during classes. My classes are pretty back to back so I don’t necessarily always have time to go all the way back to my room and cook and then get back to class in time,” McCoy said.

Oie said he believes the process of students speaking out for change with a solution is educational because it develops leaders.

Oie said students will see him in the dining areas and campus store. He encourages students to speak to him and let him know if they are having any problems with the services.

“If you think there’s a bigger issue that needs to be addressed definitely come to student government we have the power to get the right people in the room, talk about it and try to get things resolved [because] here at Cal Lutheran … we’re here for the student,” Lacey said.

Sarah Hernandez
Staff Writer
Published September 23rd, 2015