Class of 2016 first-year students are in for a significant change in the Dining Commons meal plan options for the upcoming 2012-13 academic year. Meal plans will now include Aggie Cash, a supplemental cash plan to the regular “swipes” meal plan, which can be utilized at convenience stores located on campus, the Silo, and participating restaurants and businesses in downtown Davis.
“By adding Aggie Cash to the meal plans, this will allow the students more flexibility with their meal plan. Currently we have 50 percent of our students purchasing Aggie Cash,” said Director of the Office of Student Development Branden Petitt.
Purchases with Aggie Cash are both tax-free and said to be discounted by 10 percent off the purchase price.
“We are hearing from our students that they like the ability to have Aggie Cash available to spend as they are on or off campus and just cannot get back to the dining commons for meals. They like the fact that they can use it on campus to grab a snack or coffee at Starbucks while waiting for class or studying,” Petitt said.
Aggie Cash rolls over from quarter to quarter and year to year, whereas for students that opt only for the regular “swipes” meal plan, leftover swipes are converted to Aggie Cash at a rate of $2.25 per swipe. Entrance to the dining commons for dinner is usually $12.75 for people not on a meal plan.
Due to general budget constraints, a projected 4 to 6 percent cost increase is set to hit UC Davis Student Housing for the 2012-13 academic year, aside from the cost increase tacked on to the new meal plan.
Some students response to the change in meal plans is one of a negative nature.
“It’s unfair for students because it’s an unnecessary product and guaranteed revenue for the school, students should be given a choice about whether or not they want to include Aggie Cash in their meal plan,” said first-year pre-managerial economics major Daniel Connor.
Many students said that the Dining Commons should allow students a choice in meal plan options.
“I think that what Student Housing is doing is not necessary, nor is it fair. It’s not fair for students to be forced to pay for something that they don’t need. Personally, I don’t have Aggie Cash and I have never felt that I needed it,” said first-year biological sciences major Elizabeth Hanrahan.
Student Housing maintains that the proposed change in meal plans is a positive one, considering the convenience
“I like having Aggie Cash because there are a lot of restaurants that participate in the program, and it’s very convenient, forgetting my wallet is not a problem as long as I have my ID card on hand,” said first-year biological systems engineering major Michael Perlic.
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