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Meal plan changes proposed for 2012-13

On March 1, 2012

Students may have a Moe's Southwest Grill and a Chick-fil-A added to their on-campus dining options in addition to a decrease in dining hall hours for the 2012-13 academic year.

These proposed changes are a part of Auxiliary Service's plans to adjust meal plan options for the upcoming school year.

New dining hall hours

Students may notice some of these changes when they return from spring break.

These include proposed changes such as the South Dining Hall and Horton International House Dining Hall closing at 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. Both halls are currently open until 7 p.m. and close at 2 p.m. on Friday.

"The lunch hour at South Dining Hall is packed, but by 1:30 we hardly have anyone actually eating," said Joy Gramling, director of Auxiliary Services. "They are sitting in there studying and doing homework, but they are not actually getting food."

Gramling said this would also mean adding more "healthy and ready-made options" to the C-store in I-House and extending its hours, opening it at 2 p.m. instead of the current 4 p.m.

Palette Café will be opening one hour later and closing between midnight and 1 a.m., and Parks Tower will be opening at 4:30 p.m. and closing at midnight, under the proposed changes.

Rocky's Grill will open at 4 p.m. and be closed on the weekends. Gramling said this is because "students are going either across campus or off campus to Palettes or Jimmy John's on the weekends."

According to Gramling, these changes in dining hall hours are meant to be implemented over spring break.

These are part of the first proposal for meal plan changes for the 2012-13 academic year.

In addition to the changes in hours, this proposal includes closing iCrave at the Crossings completely and keeping all the current meal plans with reduced Rocket and Dining Dollars. This plan also suggests transforming the I-House dining hall into a limited Provisions on Demand Market and closing the North Engineering POD at 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

New meal plan options

The second proposed scenario involves giving new names and adjustments to the current meal plans.

For instance, the Premiere 18 Plan will become the Gold Plan offering students 17 meals a week and three guest swipes a semester. Gramling said this is "solely a swipe plan" and there will be no change in price.

The current Premiere 18 plan offers students 18 meals a week with $50 Dining Dollars and four guest swipes.

Gramling said these changes were because students reported they wanted more "flexibility."

The Rocket 14 plan will become the Blue Plan offering 12 meals a week with $224 Residential Dollars, $50 Dining Dollars and $50 Rocket Dollars.

Residential Dollars will allow students to swipe guests into the dining halls, but cannot be used at locations in the Student Union Building Cafeteria or Phoenicia.

Gramling said with this plan, the Residential Dollars will provide small discounts when they are used on POD items or entry into any of UT's dining halls and allow students to pay extra to have "gourmet options" added to their food.

"For example, if you order a steak, say you pay extra to have grilled mushrooms added to that steak," she said.

The Blue Plan will be $80 less than the Rocket 14 plan, which includes 14 meals a week, $225 Dining Dollars, two guest swipes and $75 Rocket Dollars.

The Flex 10 plan will not see a price change, but will provide $1120 Residential Dollars, $200 Dining Dollars and $90 Rocket Dollars, compared to the current $385 Dining Dollars, $75 Rocket Dollars and one guest swipe.

The Block 125 will be replaced with the Block 50 with an average of 5 meals per week, $125 Residential Dollars and $125 Dining Dollars. While the price for this plan will not change, the Block 125 offered students 125 swipes a semester, $95 Dining Dollars and $50 Rocket Dollars.

This plan would also introduce a Chick-fil-A into the Student Union Cafeteria, and move Subway and a Moe's Southwest Grill into the area where the current Student Bookstore is.

The South Dining Hall will also be renovated to include more ready-to-order specialties.

This plan will also include opening the Carter Hall POD at 8:30 a.m. instead of 10 a.m. since students have reported wanting more breakfast to-go options, according to Gramling. I-House would also be renovated into a full POD Market with a grill station.

Gramling said the price of entry into the dining halls will also increase. She said this is due to the cost of food going up by 11.5 percent and being expected to increase by another 6 percent next year.

Gramling said she has been meeting with students in the residence halls and giving presentations of both plans. She said she is personally not a fan of the first plan with decreased dining hall hours and reduced Rocket and Dining Dollars.

Gramling said she will take the student feedback, make changes to whichever plan is chosen as needed, and then begin negotiations with Aramark.12

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