Student Senate passes resolution in support of meal plan donation program

Students would be given the option of donating declining dollars to the Campus Harvest Food Pantry

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Photo by Lindsey Ambrosius

Student Senate also confirmed the appointment of the new University Activities Commission director, Nicole Miller.

Student Senate passed a resolution Monday that would give students the ability to donate their unused meal plan dollars instead of letting them expire at the end of the semester.

“This would give students a choice in what they want to do with their money,” Branden Yates, the chief of staff, said in the resolution’s introduction.

If it succeeds, students would have the option of donating their leftover meal plan dollars to the Campus Harvest Food Pantry located in the basement of Schofield Hall, a solely student-served service that helps curb food insecurity on campus.

Currently, all unexhausted meal plan dollars at the end of the semester are “returned” to the university.

Dier Pulatov, the finance director, spoke in support of the resolution from personal experience working with SODEXO and meal plan dollars.

“I can tell that a lot of it is being not used,” Pulatov said, adding that sometimes students have hundreds of dollars left in their accounts. “I think it will be a better use if it’s going to the food pantry, and students who truly need support will have access to more resources.”

Responding to the question of why students would not be returned those meal plan dollars, Yates said he wasn’t provided a clear answer but speculates it is a result of SODEXO’s planning process.

Yates said there isn’t yet a devised plan for how students would choose to donate their unexhausted meal plan dollars. Once it is made clear students want that option, Yates said, more steps of action to solidify details will ensue.

Katy McGarry, the student body president, voiced her support for the resolution.

“A resolution is a statement but what is the action?” McGarry said. “And I think the action that comes from this is letting our fellow students know about the Campus Food pantry. I think as Student Senate it’s something that…we can make more upfront for students to know that it’s there and that it’s useable and no one should feel isolated for using it.”

The resolution passed in a placard vote.

Other News

  • Nicole Miller, a junior kinesiology student, was confirmed the new University Activity Commission director.
  • Jonathon Butz and Joseph Max Howden, both off-campus senators, resigned from Student Senate.
  • Intergovernmental Affairs Director Martin Sandberg resigned.
  • Bill 61-B-13 – Adopting the 2018-2019 Organized Activities Budget tabled for two weeks in order to have an open forum to educate student body about where money is going.
  • Special Allocation Bill to American Marketing Association introduced by Finance Director Dier Pulatov. The bill will be voted on next week.