Meal plans expand to ease transition to new Davies
Changes to the meal plans will go into effect next year at UW-Eau Claire as the university prepares for the changes in dining options in the new Davies Center.
Charles Farrell, director of University Centers, said changes are necessary to accommodate the new Davies Center not having a cafeteria and the food court being taken out of Hilltop Center.
“Assuming that not everyone is going to be real thrilled about walking back up the hill for lunch, we’ve tried to provide other options that would fit within what we’re able to offer in the new Davies Center,” Farrell said.
Student Body President Phil Rynish said the University Centers Advisory Board has been working to make sure students will be satisfied with their meal plans.
“There’s been a lot of research and analysis that’s gone into making up these plans to make sure that they cater to students’ needs,” Rynish said.
The all-access meal plan, at $1,495 per semester, will still be available and still provides unlimited access to the Riverview Cafe in the Hilltop Center, according to the Blugold Dining website.
Along with this is a differentiation between students who live on upper campus and students who live in Katherine Thomas and Putnam Halls, Farrell said.
Students who live in the residence halls on upper campus are allowed one “to-go” meal per day from the food court in the new Davies Center, while the students living on lower campus can take up to three “to-go” meals each day, one at each meal time, Farrell said.
The “to-go” meal option offers all the foods available in the main entree at the Riverview Cafe, in the Davies Center, Farrell said.
The food court currently in the Hilltop Center will be removed as the food options in the new Davies Center are expanding, Farrell said.
“That will be eliminated in order to make room for spreading the venues out so the cafeteria can grow to support the upper campus,” he said.
This is another reason why plans are changing, he said.
The Blugold ultimate meal plan, at $1,595 per semester, offers students more options on both upper and lower campus. Students will have unlimited access to the Riverview Cafe, $100 in declining dollars and a block of 50 meals to be used in the Davies Center, according to the Blugold Dining website.
Farrell said he thinks the Blugold ultimate plan is the one most students will gravitate toward.
Also among the changes is an entirely new 150 meal block plan, which costs $1,520 per semester. With this plan, students have a block of 150 meals from the food court area of the Davies Center and $50 in declining dollars.
The meals are set specials, Farrell said. For example, a meal might consist of a slice of pizza, a breadstick and a drink, he said.
“You won’t have as much choice (with the block meals) at the food court than you would at the cafeteria, and you won’t get as much food, but you never do,” he said. “The best deal is always to go to the cafeteria.”
Farrell said the block plan is a good plan for students who want to limit the meals they’re eating on campus.
Students can also purchase blocks of 20 meals or a 50/50 meal plan to supplement their block plans. The 50/50 plan has been available in the past to students living off campus and in Chancellors Hall and the pricetag is rising from $300 to $400.
Rynish said the increase is the only thing he’s concerned about.
“It’s going up $100, which is a third of the price of what it was so I think that’s pretty curious,” he said. “I feel like a 33 percent increase is a little outrageous.”
Farrell said the 50/50 meal plan cost is going up to keep the costs of individual meals in line with what they are in the block plan.
With all the changes, Rynish said he is happy with the way the new meal plans look.
“I think the meal plans are going to work out for the better,” Rynish said. “I think that people will be happy with what their options are and will be happy with this new student center regardless of the fact that there’s no cafeteria in it.”