Meal plan costs to rise 4.5 percent for next year

In addition to an increase in tuition, Auxiliary Services plans to increase the cost of all meal plans by 4.5 percent for the 2008-09 academic year.

The decision was made by the Board of Trustees, the members of which determine all university fees, said assistant vice president for Auxiliary Services Mel Tenen.

Currently, the university does not individually notify students or their parents of fee increases, instead they are listed on Miami’s Web site.

Stephen Castle, a junior who eats in the Mahoney dining hall, said he wasn’t aware there was a plan to increase the cost.

“They need to give more notification and let us know why; we’re paying for it, aren’t we?” Castle said.

All students who live in the residential colleges are required to have a minimum eight meals per week based on a long-established university policy.

Tenen said the university “benchmarks our meal plan rates with our peer universities to ensure our rates are fair and competitive.”

Still, some students feel they should not be required to keep their meal plans if they have to incur the increased cost.

Laura Westwood, a sophomore, said that if the university is going to increase the cost of food, they should also be “improving the service.”

“The food isn’t always out. Sometimes I come in and walk out because they aren’t serving the good food. If they’re increasing the price, I expect greatness for my money.”

Mel Tenen said the university does have plans to step things up with additional services in the fall. There will be a new meal plan called “the Kosher 8 [which] will give students additional $1,000 in Oasis dollars to be used only at Oasis Kosher deli,” Tenen said. The Oasis deli will replace Storm Surge café, and freshmen will be able to get the Kosher 8 plan.

Although the university will be adding new options next year, there are no plans to change the requirement of having a meal plan while living in one of the residential colleges.

Najwa Monique Sharpe may be contacted at