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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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Food prices increase while quantity decreases

FSA says they eliminated flex credits to increase student dining options. (GISELLE BARKLEY/THE STATESMAN)
FSA says they eliminated flex credits to increase student dining options. (GISELLE BARKLEY/THE STATESMAN)

The 1.7 percent increase in food prices this academic year may have been lower in comparison with previous years. However, students are more vocal now with the correlation between prices and the quantity of food than in the past.

Among the dining halls, Jasmine in The Wang Center was subjected to scrutiny as a result of noticeable difference between the cost of the food and the amount given to students.

According to Angela Agnello, the Faculty Student Association’s director of Marketing and Communications, Jasmine stations “are no longer under a single contractor, but instead by […] different successful New York area restaurant owners.”

According to USG’s Vice President of Academic Affairs Steven Adelson, Jasmine is now under contract with the Lackmann Culinary Services.  The company initiated these price and quantity changes in Jasmine.

Additionally students no longer have Flex Points. In the past when students would either run out of meal points or eat at Jasmine, Flex Points would be used.

Agnello claims that “Flex Credits […] were eliminated this year in favor of a single meal plan tender.”

This means that students no longer run the risk of using up their Flex Points if they continuously eat at Jasmine. Students can also have greater flexibility with their Campus Dining points and can spend them where they choose.

However, it also eliminates many students’ back-up plan after meal points are used.

“People might get a little more laid back with how they utilize their meal points, and I encourage students to use their meal points how they’ve used in the past,” Adelson said.

In addition to the issue with food prices and quantity, the Undergraduate Student Government is also working towards making prices in dining halls across campus more uniform.

“The price inconsistencies is because there is a little bit of a disconnect between the person preparing the food and the person at the register,” Adelson said.

On some occasions cashiers may charge for individual items that when put together should be discounted.

For students, inconsistent prices in addition to expensive meals and the amounts of money provided by various meal plans leave many students struggling to find affordable yet nutritious options on campus that will not burn holes in their pockets. Comments on this issue can be found on SBU Chat on Reddit.

According to Agnello the second phase of the West Side Dining construction should be completed next semester and will provide more food options for on-campus students.

Agnello states that students can become part of the Campus Dining Resolutions Committee to take part in future changes.

Also students can view food prices and portions on the Campus Dining and Jasmine webpages.

Students with concerns regarding these issues can get in contact with Campus Dining managers who are on duty during dining hall hours.

They may also post their concerns on the Campus Dining Facebook page or may speak with FSA’s Customer Advocate Dawn Villacci.

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