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Davidson Student Government Association lobbies for lower cost of mandatory meal plan

Dining services says mandatory meals plans are needed to keep up with the increased monetary demand of meeting health and dietary needs of students.

DAVIDSON, N.C. — The Davidson College Student Government Association is calling on the college to reduce the cost of its meal plan, which all students will be required to purchase next year.  The SGA also wants to preserve the ability of  fraternities and eating houses to serve meals at their Patterson Court houses as long as they purchase food supplies through the college.

In August, Davidson College president Carol Quillen announced that starting in fall 2015, students in the class of 2018 and after would be required to buy a campus meal plan, which currently costs $2,400 per year for approximately five meals each week.  Quillen said the health and dietary needs of students had changed significantly in recent years. Meeting students’ expectations requires a stable source of income that the college now plans to generate by making the meal plan mandatory.

Students reacted unhappily to the announcement, with members of Patterson Court organizations (PCOs) – the school’s fraternities, sororities and eating houses – particularly upset. Patterson Court houses typically provide meals for their members as part of their membership fees. PCO leaders said the change would hurt membership, by forcing those who wish to join to purchase a meal plan from the school in addition to the organization’s meal plan.

At a September forum to discuss the meal plan change, Quillen called on students to offer their suggestions on how best to implement the mandatory meal plan. The SGA said its plan draws on student feedback through public forums,  online surveys and conversations between

SGA members and students. It’s the first formal response to the proposed change.

The SGA proposes the following changes in the meal plan, as it is becomes mandatory:

  • Reducing the cost of the meal plan by $850 per year by lowering the minimum number of meals from 90 to 75

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