New meal plan combos cause controversy, distress

Julia Snyder
Associate News Editor

Proper nutrition guidelines dictate that healthy individuals should eat at least three meals a day in order to properly sustain themselves. Bearing this in mind, it’s no surprise that a student’s meal plan is vital to survival on campus. However, the meal plan options at the Anchor, the Galley and the Cove are different from the options that Millersville University has become accustomed to in previous semesters.

Dining services has compiled a set of meal ideas that students are required to match in order to use a ‘meal swipe’ at the Anchor, the Galley or the Cove. These combinations, called Meal Express Combos, were created to benefit students. Ed Nase, the director of dining services said, “Our overall goal was to give students more flexibility and choices when eating in our retail locations.” In addition to the new combinations, dining services has added new foods to the meal plan. This includes sushi, soft pretzels, 20 oz. Pepsi products, lifestyle meals, Hershey’s ice cream cups and food provided by the Marauder Express food truck.

Though there is a general consensus that the added foods like sushi are popular additions, students themselves are not ecstatic with the changes. Alex Gomez, a sophomore, said “[the new meal combos] make something that was not broken… challenging and an issue for most students.”

Not being able to create individual combinations that apply for meal swipes may just be an inconvenience for some, but for vegetarians and vegans it eliminates most options at the retail locations. According to Annette Giannini, “You don’t have the freedom to be able to do what you want with your meals.” Giannini, who recently became a vegetarian, said that this lack of freedom has kept herself and others from dining at the university’s retail locations.

Dining services does its best to provide the university population with the dining experience that they want. At the very base of this relationship is the feedback that students provide. The current meal combinations themselves were the result of previous feedback from students and overall meal popularity. In order to receive feedback, there are comment cards available in most of the on-campus dining halls. Dining services also keeps an eye on popular social media sites for feedback, including Facebook, messenger, email and Yik-Yak.  According to Ed Nase, “we [dining services] will continue to listen to our customer’s suggestions, especially the Meal Express combos… We will continually change the Meal Express combos to better meet the needs of our students.”