The Student News Site of Northern Michigan University

The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind Editorial Sessions
About us

The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas WiertellaApril 30, 2024

Meal plan prices increase with new year

After students raised concerns over the discrepancy between what students were paying in on-campus eateries versus what walk-in customers were paying, NMU’s Dining Services reassessed meal plan prices for the upcoming academic year.

The change includes increasing the walk-in price and eliminating the Any-5 Meal Plan to create a different option.

According to Art Gischia, associate vice president of auxiliary services, many students spoke out about the Any-5 Meal Plan under which students were paying more than $19 per meal. Walk-in customers were only paying $6.95 per meal.

In place of the Any-5 Meal Plan will now be the Any-8 Meal Plan. The new, Any-8 Meal Plan will cost $1,330 per semester and will equate out to about $8.25 per meal. It will also include an increase in dining dollars to $340 per semester, $40 more than the Any-5.

Story continues below advertisement

“I hope people can see . the biggest thing is that this meal plan addresses the issue that students were paying so much more per meal,” said Greg Minner, director of Dining Services.

The Board of Trustees approved a 2.75 percent increase to all meal plan rates, which Minner said are some of the lowest in the state. The Constant Meal Pass and the Any-14 Meal Plan are increasing by about $100. The Spooner Meal Plan, which Gischia said also faced resistance due to high costs per meal, is increasing by $40.

Minner and Gischia said the most difficult aspect of making these changes was keeping conscious of the fact that food costs are increasing by nearly 5 percent. Gischia said variables, such as the changing number of students who will attend in the fall, are also an issue and it is difficult to determine whether all food costs will be covered.

Many measures will be taken to reduce the costs within Dining Services so that all costs can be met without having to raise meal plans further. Standardizing recipes, reevaluating what food is bought and whether there are more economical options in purchasing are ways that Dining Services intends to save money.

“In order for us to maintain the quality of program at Northern and the quality of the staff members, we have to generate enough revenue to cover those expenses and cover the cost of (the) food increase,” Gischia said.

According to Gischia, the best way to increase revenue, now that meal plan prices are set for the Fall 2009 semester, is to increase walk-in traffic. He said that a way to do this would be to advertise in the community for the NMU campus eateries.

Since door rates at the Marketplace and Wildcat Den haven’t changed in two years, they have both been increased by 6 percent, three for each year it remained stationary. It will now cost $8.50 for an all-you-can-eat dinner, which Minner says is still competitive with other businesses in Marquette.

Minner said that maintaining quality for students, the most important customers to Dining Services, is his biggest priority.

“I hope the message is going out there that we’re not just here to provide a service. We want to be a part of the community of students,” he said.

More to Discover