New meal plan sparks dissatisfied opinions

For rising juniors and seniors, living on campus is set to become more expensive next year.

Bryant Rodriguez, Opinion Editor

A recent change in meal plan policies for on campus students is causing a stir at St. John’s.

In an email last week, the University announced that at the start of 2017-2018 school year, every on campus resident will be required to take a meal plan, including those who live in the townhouses.

Founders Village, also known as the townhouses, previously did not require residents to pay for a meal plan. According to Executive Director of Auxiliary and Conference Services Scott Lemperle, the dining contract with the food vendor Chartwells has been renegotiated for the upcoming academic year.

“This new contract allows for the addition of four days to the meal plan calendar,” Lemperle said in an emailed statement to the Torch. “These additional days will enhance the meal plan service before and after the holiday and seasonal breaks throughout the school year.”

“Approximately 65 percent of students who reside in the Founders Village are typically enrolled in a Resident Meal Plan,” Lemperle added.

As a result of the changes, juniors and seniors who want to go without a meal plan will be limited to Seton Complex, Goethals Complex or the Henley Road Complex.

For those who decide to remain in the townhouses, the minimum meal plan required will be the Apartment Meal Plan, which provides seven meals a week with 200 meal plan points a semester.

Some students have reacted negatively to the changes, with some telling the Torch that they plan to live on campus next year.

“I do not have any intention [of living in the townhouses] and I would be livid if I needed a meal plan,” sophomore Arianna Smith said.

The new meal plan requirements does not appeal to sophomore Alessondra Bruno, who attends classes at the Manhattan campus.

Bruno said she has to go to the city twice a week for risk management classes. Therefore, she said she will be, “…paying for a meal plan that I won’t even be able to use doesn’t make sense.”

Junior Taylor McCauley is considering moving off campus, citing the cost of room and board and lack of food options as a major factor.

“The mandatory meal plan in the townhouses is ridiculous and expensive,” McCauley said. “I moved into the townhouses for convenience and the freedom from a meal plan.”

As a vegetarian, McCauley feels that the money that a meal plan would cost could be spent on “better tasting and healthier food.”

“Claiming that the majority of students already have a meal plan in the Townhouses is ludicrous,” she added.” Who cares?”

According to the Continuing Student Housing Selection guide of 2017-2018, Carey Hall will be reserved for juniors and seniors and those on Staten Island are limited to Arlo Road as the Howard Ave. apartments are no longer available.

Carey Hall will also feature an upperclassmen pharmacy community for junior and senior pharmacy students to promote academic success within those in the major.