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New Commuter Meal Plan Seeks to Make Life Easier for Non-Residential Students

Manhattan College is extending their services to commuters by offering them a new meal plan option that students can enroll in. The commuter meal plan was created to offer the commuter students an opportunity to save money while continuing to dine on campus.

In the past students could pay out of pocket and purchase Jasper Dollars or Dining Dollars to add onto their ID cards but now they have more flexibility by adding it onto their financial aid package.

Students can opt into one out of two options offered and can renew their meal plan whenever they want throughout the year. Option one, 330 +3, includes three meal swipes a semester at Locke’s Loft cafeteria along with $330 Dining Dollars per semester.

This has an additional 10% bonus so you only pay $300. Option two, 550 + 5, includes five meal swipes a semester at Locke’s Loft cafeteria and $550 Dining Dollars per semester. Like option one, it also includes an additional 10% bonus so you only pay $500.

Both meal plans can be included in your tuition bill so that your financial aid can help pay for it. The dining dollars purchased on the commuter meal plan act just as the dining dollars on the residential meal plans.

These dollars carry over from semester to semester but need to be repurchased at the start of every school year. Student Body President, Dorian Persaud and Vice President of Commuter Affairs, Micaela Bishop paved the way for the meal plan to be initiated.

“I also thought it was important to our college’s inclusive community that we incorporate commuters needs and what’s better then eating together,” said Bishop. “I definitely think that it will save you money no matter what because you will be paying more attention to your spending rather than spending cash in Kelly and you get either 3 or 5 free meal swipes depending on your plan. Also with the 10% discount completely on top of it, you are getting more for your dollar no matter what.  I feel like it’s more financially savvy then just throwing more dollars on your card.”

Brian Conway, the Director of Gourmet Dining Services, helped establish the meal plan and work out the logistics of options one and two. He worked the plan from Gourmet Dining’s point of view. They are open to any and all improvements and suggestions for the meal but are just one entity that has a say in the meal plan itself.

“Once we recognized there was a major need for the plan it just started to come together very quickly. The thought of the Commuter meal plan has been around for a long time but it was only recently that Micaela Bishop and Dorian Persaud, helped champion this cause to correct audiences, in order to get this done,” Conway said. “The final decision on what to include in the meal plan was a group effort by a lot of people and offices including the Business Office, Financial Aid, SGA, CSA and Gourmet Dining. Since this is the first year of this type of plan, I anticipate there will be many additions in the future, as we continue to gauge the needs of the students.”

Students can opt into the commuter meal plan by asking Student Financial Services to add it onto the student’s account.

“I felt like it only became a big topic of discussion when I started running but I was really pushing for it. I mentioned it at all of my debates and it was one of my big platforms. I know what it was like to be a commuter and not have all of the resources I would have liked to eat,” said Persaud. “The purpose of the meal plan was to motivate those spontaneous meal outings or just eating with your colleges. I wanted to give the commuters more options and opportunities.”

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