HDH currently offers four dining plans for on-campus students. Students that live in residential halls can buy either the $3,677 or $4,056 dining plans. Students that live in on-campus apartments can choose one of the two residential hall plans, or one of two cheaper plans: $3,275 or $2,850, since they have access to a small kitchen.
Off-campus students, staff, and faculty had access to the Community Dining Plan, which gave students 20 percent off each purchase as long as they deposited $25 into the plan.
Previously, if students had leftover Dining Dollars at the end of the year, they rolled over through the end of summer session, so students taking summer classes would be able to use them. However, if they were not used by the end of the summer, they disappeared.
At the forum, HDH announced that Dining Dollars will now roll over to the end of the fall quarter of the following year, giving students that don’t take summer classes a chance to use their remaining Dining Dollars.
Starting in Fall 2019, the five dining plan options will shrink to three. HDH will remove the Community Dining Plan and create two new plans that give students free Triton Cash, or money that can be used at non-HDH facilities on campus, like restaurants in Price Center.
One plan will consist of $5,100 Dining Dollars and $100 in Triton Cash. The other plan will be $3,400 in Dining Dollars and $50 in Triton Cash. These two plans will be available to all students. A third plan, $1,700 in Dining Dollars, will only be available to continuing students (non-first years).
Beginning Fall 2020, dining plans will also be optional for transfer students and apartment residents, and dining plans will be available to all students, including commuters.
According to HDH Executive Director Hemlata Jhaveri, HDH cannot make dining plans optional for on-campus first year students, because they need the money to pay staff and utilities. However, HDH plans to phase out overpriced items that off-campus stores already provide at cheaper costs.
At the forum, Jhaveri stressed that for dining halls and markets, the goal is to break even and give back to students.
“I’d say today, the average student uses about $3500, but this is just an average. Some students will spend more, and some students will spend less,” said Jhaveri. “We are putting the flexibility back to the students.”
Matthew Rom-Toribio is an Assistant News Editor at The Triton. You can follow him @MT2o.
This article was updated at 6:00 p.m. on November 27, 2018 for greater clarity.