June 13, 2024

The Wittenberg Board of Directors has decided on a new requirement for all on-campus students — everyone must pay for a meal plan.  

This requirement will add anywhere from $2,332 a year to nearly $6,000 to students’ room and board bills. The only way to get out of this new requirement is to be a commuter student, but commuters only make up a small percentage of Wittenberg.  

“I don’t like the new meal plans because they are increasing the cost of housing for all students without making any true improvements to any of the housing on campus or the burbs but instead forcing all students to get a meal plan when most people moved into the ‘Burbs to have our own kitchen and cook our own meals which for many is a cheaper option than having a meal plan,” said rising senior, Khi Carroll.

The board has been discussing this decision for several years now and are doing it “to promote community interaction in multiple dining locations across campus, and we hope that our students in the ‘Burbs take full advantage of the variety of offerings available, including the smaller meal plans,” said Rob Young, Vice President of Finance & Administration. “Additionally, increased revenue from meal plans will allow us to offer a more robust dining program.”  

Many students are unhappy with this decision, as living in the ‘Burbs as an upperclassman gives you the ability and opportunity to shop for and cook their own food. Many complain about the quality of the dining hall food, especially those with dietary restrictions such as dairy allergies, gluten allergies, or vegetarian/vegan diet. Students have also complained how how the food is cooked, including chicken often appearing “pink.” 

To address these concerns, the General Manager of Dining Services, Leah Bahun-Harris, will be hosting six forums throughout April. Information on these forums has been sent out via campus email.  

“I encourage students to attend a session and let their voices be heard.  Leah began her time at Wittenberg last fall and has already made a positive impact on the quality and variety of food offered on a daily basis,” said Young.  

There will be “new retail concepts and menu updates in Post 95 and the Science Center” according to the email announcing the decision, but further official information has yet to be provided. However, there is a sign outside of Post 95 with new items advertised, such as a pasta bar.  

Students are still concerned. “I am upset about the meal plan because I was really excited to have my own kitchen to cook in! I love cooking and it’s something I really miss doing,” said rising junior, Gracie Pantalone.  

“We already pay so much money for this school, no one wants to have to pay more,” said Wittenberg junior, Abbie Fox. 

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