Meal plans to be restructured for fall 2017

Jefferson Marketplace offers a wide variety of food options, including fresh produce. (Photo by Blake Nissen)

Flex meal plans are being restructured for fall 2017.

Students with a flex meal plan, which includes Flex 14 and Flex 20, will receive 225 flex points per semester rather than 450 flex points at the beginning of the academic year that can be used in campus cafes such as West 82 Food Court, Latitude 39 and The Front Room Coffeehouse where the traditional meal swipes are not accepted. When spent, each Flex Point equals $1.

Starting in 2014, 450 flex points were issued at the beginning of the academic year that students could access throughout the year without expiration.

“At times that meant students would use all the points in the fall semester, then not return in the spring; they would then have to be billed for those used points,” Jim Sabin, an Ohio University spokesperson, said in an email.

Starting fall 2017, flex points cannot be used outside of the semester they were purchased and will expire at the end of a semester if not used.

“It’s a good idea they’re going back to that,” Aaron Heber, a senior studying nursing, said. “It’s good because you wouldn’t blow through all of your flex points through one semester, and you can budget it out between semesters. … I liked having the flex points, but I also liked it separated between the two semesters (my freshman year).”

Meal swipes will also be worth more at marketplaces beginning fall 2017.

Flex meal plans, which allow students to cash in unused meal swipes throughout the week at marketplaces on groceries and other necessities, will be increasing the value of a swipe from $6.25 to $6.50.

“The increase is to give students on a flex meal plan more value and encourage students to consider upgrading from a traditional meal plan to a flex meal plan,” Sabin said in an email.

The increase in the meal swipe value is beneficial considering market prices, Kristin Kawecki, a freshman studying marketing and sport management, said.

“I think that’s a good thing they’re doing it, because the market prices are super high, so it would make more sense that a meal swipe would be worth more,” she said.

Adrienne Tong, a junior studying information design, does not feel the quarter increase is notable.

“I don’t feel like it’s super significant especially because of how some of the prices are inflated at the markets,” she said. “It’s not a huge increase, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction.”

@AbbeyMarshall

am877915@ohio.edu

 Originally published for The Post on April 3, 2017.
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