Rutgers increases value of student meal swipes


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Photo by Dimitri Rodriguez |

Photo Illustration | Rutgers Dining Services announced late last month they would increase the amount students could spend on meals going forward. The proposal is reaching its first month, after officially taking effect on Feb. 29. The increase raised the current dinner value of $7.50 to $8.00 and breakfast value from $6.50 to $7.00.


School officials took measures to accommodate students’ meal expenses due to the increasing cost of food at Rutgers.

Rutgers Dining Services announced late last month they would increase the amount students could spend on meals going forward, said Nick Emanuel, director of operations.

The proposal is reaching its first month, after officially taking effect on Feb. 29. The increase raised the current dinner value of $7.50 to $8.00 and breakfast value from $6.50 to $7.00.

“As the raw cost of food prices increase, so will the price consumers pay in restaurants,” Emanuel said. He stressed that as food costs continue to increase, their offices must evaluate the situation to help students cover their meal expenses.

The rising cost of raw foods is not unfamiliar territory to the Rutgers Dining Services. Increases have happened before, but they are adamant that this change will not discourage students, rather it will benefit them.

“We have yearly increases in prices to cover the raw cost of food, but in this case we are only increasing the amount a student is allowed to spend with a meal swipe, so this decision in no way negatively impacts the student,” Emanuel said.

This proposal will not change much nor will it affect students, but some students disagree, school officials said.

There are also complaints from students regarding the the quality of food that Rutgers serves.

The quality of food is average and there is not enough variety, said Michelle Locke, a School of Arts and Sciences senior.

“They think they’re making themselves look better, but it still isn’t very beneficial,” she said.

When she eats at the Rock Cafe, on Livingston campus, she has to pay extra to get an iced tea with her sandwich, since she does not want the soda that comes with it.

Students living on campus will buy the meal plans with or without the change, she said. But many students move off campus in their later years at Rutgers and may not purchase a meal plan.

There had not been an increase for equivalency in quite a while, Emanuel said. 

“Increasing the equivalency will ultimately increase the speed of service by not having to collect additional funds, which in turn will reduce the labor needed to process the transactions,” he said. “(It's) a win-win."


Julian Jimenez is a School of Arts and Sciences senior majoring in journalism and media studies. He is a staff writer for The Daily Targum. See more on Twitter @JulianTheMenez.


Julian Jimenez

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