photo by James Song
Unused dining dollars from the current academic year will now roll over into the fall of 2019, Housing Dining Hospitality announced in an email to students in January. This, along with the restructuring of dining plans, were created as a result of a student survey sent out during Fall 2018.
Three new dining plans will replace the current four: a $5,100 and a $3,400 year-long plan for both first-year and continuing students, as well as a $1,700 plan only available to continuing students. With the price of one meal in a dining hall averaging $10, these plans allow for 15, 10, and five meals a week respectively.
Additionally, HDH has implemented a dining dollar rollover policy effective immediately that will allow students with dining dollars from the 2018-19 school year to carry them over into Fall Quarter 2019. UC San Diego is the first UC campus to have such a rollover policy; all other campuses require students to use up their equivalent to dining dollars by the end of the academic year.
These changes are the product of recent student criticism of the previously-offered dining plans. Chetana Thapetta, a sophomore from John Muir College, noted that the previous lack of a rollover policy was an issue for many students.
“I think the rollover policy is good because it takes the pressure off of finishing all of your dining dollars in one academic year,” Thapetta told the UCSD Guardian. “As a person transitioning to being a commuter [next year], it will be nice to be able to fall back on dining dollars.”
Zsuzsanna Llynch, a sophomore from Roger Revelle College who works at Canyon Vista and moved off campus due to the previously high costs of the dining plans, said that the new dining plans and rollover policy are beneficial to their users and to the administration.
“If students have more dining dollars they will be encouraged to spend more, especially if the dollars roll over,” Llynch said. “Students who would have run out of dining dollars can continue eating at dining halls the next academic year, so all in all, more students will be patrons of the dining halls than ever before, which is great for business.”
According to Sixth College sophomore Max Varady, these new policies create mixed outcomes because the current dining plan price points set the highest amount to $4,056.
“I definitely like the rollover policy and never understood why that wasn’t always implemented,” Varady told the Guardian. “[However], it seems like the higher price points for the dining plans might not be doable for some people.”
Conversely, some students like Thapetta feel that these changes do not do enough to fully address the problems that many students have with HDH. She notes that HDH has a greater problem of inflating the prices of the offered food.
“The average price of food [from HDH] is so expensive,” Thapetta said. “I feel like … they take advantage of the fact that we want to save time and would rather not go off campus to get other food.”
All first-year and continuing students will be able to purchase the new dining plans later this summer when the housing and dining signup information is released. Any current students not graduating this spring will be able to let their remaining dining dollars rollover through the end of Fall Quarter 2019.