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Monday April 15th

Student Government proposes improved meal equivalency usage

<p><em>Last November, Aria Chaileh, Student Government’s vice president for student services, presented a five-step proposal to transform dining services at the College (Photo courtesy Shane Gillepsie / Photo Editor).</em></p>

Last November, Aria Chaileh, Student Government’s vice president for student services, presented a five-step proposal to transform dining services at the College (Photo courtesy Shane Gillepsie / Photo Editor).

By Alena Bitonti
Features Editor

At the College, meal equivalency swipes, available with certain meal plans, provide the flexibility to enjoy on-campus dining locations outside of the dining hall, the Atrium at Eickhoff. One meal equivalency swipe covers up to $8.93 of a purchase and can be used at The Library Café, The Lions Den, Traditions, T-Dubs and more.

However, students are limited to five meal equivalency swipes per week, which can only be used once daily from Monday through Friday.

Last November, Aria Chaileh, Student Government’s vice president for student services, presented a five-step proposal to transform dining services at the College. Along with more meal options and inclusive dining, the proposal included significant changes to the meal equivalency system to better accommodate students.

Chalileh’s goal, supported by Sarah Levin, Student Government’s dining services chair, is for students to be allowed a total of five meal equivalency swipes that are allocated per week, including the weekends. This would provide students the opportunity to use their meal equivalency swipes up to three times in one day and during any meal period between Sunday and Saturday.

“My goal with these proposed changes is to ensure that students feel as though they have more choice within their dining plan,” said Chalileh. “I also hope that students will become more satisfied with the dining experience overall, as the expanded options will relieve many of the problems currently faced by students.”

In addition, the proposal includes a request to change the start time of meal equivalency at T-Dubs from 9 p.m. to 5 p.m.

“I really like the idea of meal equivalency starting at 5 p.m. at T-Dubs,” said Kamryn Super, a freshman english and secondary education major. “I normally crave dinner around five or six and it stinks that I have to wait until 9 p.m. to use my meal equiv. there.”

“When I found out you could not use meal equiv., I have not gone to eat at T-Dubs or the Stud on the weekends,” added Daniel Giblin, a freshman history major. “Having a meal equiv. available on Saturdays and Sundays would be great.”

According to the Student Government Instagram page, “immense strides” have recently been made to improve dining services on campus. The page shared a post on Feb. 16 requesting the student body fill out a Google Form to support the proposed changes to the meal equivalency system. The form also asks for feedback to further understand the student body's opinions and push the initiative.

“The response to the Google Form has been absolutely incredible so far,” added Chalileh in an interview. “It has been so heartwarming to see students be so receptive to this proposal, and I am confident that Dining Services will be receptive as a result.”

Chalileh plans to meet with dining services in the coming days and keep the student body updated on the results.

“Through my role as vice president of student services, I have been actively working to improve the dining experience as a whole for all current and future TCNJ students,” Chalileh explained. “I hope this change to the meal equivalency system is another step in the right direction.”




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