On August 24th, a petition to change the university’s new meal plan system was created by Chase Beetler, a sophomore biology major at Kent State University. At time of writing, the change.org petition has over 1,500 signatures.
The dining plan, which limits the majority of meals to swipes at dining locations at Kent Market 2, Eastway, and Prentice, has drawn ire from the student body. The meal plan change was created as part of a food service contract with Aramark, which took effect June 1st, 2017.
Beetler’s petition states,
If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. The changes to KSU meal plans are/were completely unnecessary and I’ve only seen negative feedback thus far. Declining balance rather than swipes made Kent’s meal plan stick out to many people as opposed to other colleges; now that it has changed it seems like a smack in the face to the student body.
One of the flaws of the new dining system is how you cannot take food with you to your dorm; Alexis Wilkins comments on this design change, “Being able to bring food back to the dorm to be able to eat while working on homework saved time and allowed me to get my work done faster.”
Other students have complained about how inconvenient to students the system really is. Emma Bachna comments, “It’s annoying that everywhere else only takes declining balance because the Hub was convenient for me and I enjoyed going there, and the markets were helpful if I wanted food later, so if I want food I’m limited to stuff at Rosie’s which makes me sick or spending my small declining balance.”
Beetler’s petition calls out the University for not discussing any of the meal plan changes with the student body. It states,
We, as a student body, were not asked about if we wanted a change from declining balance to mainly swipes. The very least KSU could have done was give us students a say in the future of our dining options before making such a drastic change.
Neither the University nor Beverly Warren has responded to the petition. However, Beverly Warren has made comments in the past towards students who disliked the new system.
If you wish to support the petition, you can find it here.
Chase Beetler was contacted by The Kent Conservative but did not respond in time for publication.