They were worth the wait. It is the end of highway robbery ? students will now be able to spend all the money that they pay for dining on campus. The newly announced dining plans eliminated the fixed dining cost on food.

Also, juniors and seniors will be rewarded for their upperclassmen status. They will have the greatest flexibility as they will be able to choose any amount of money to put in their declining balance, including nothing at all. Students will also be allowed to add more money to their declining fund at any time in the year.

Compared to the largest plan this year the Premium Block Plan, the new Declining Plus 14 Meals plan will cost $100 more at $3,700 ? an increase in line with inflation.

While the dining options are no longer restricted by residence, they will be mandatory for all freshmen and sophomores.

A benefit for all students will be the elimination of the time periods on the usage of blocks. This means that students can use multiple meals or combine them with declining at any time. All people will also share the cost of overheard equally, instead of only those with meal plans.

Some loose ends still exist. It is currently unclear how UR will compensate for the loss of the fixed costs. An increase in food price is expected.

The Dining Committee?s results are a positive change because the committee contacted many parts of the UR community for input and did not ignore this information when they made their decision. However, the committee did fail to bring the final version of the plans in front of students for input. The student committee on dining made recommendations in mid-December and they did not see anything until the final plans were in place and announced.

Now that the dining plans are completed, the next point on the committee?s agenda is to improve on the conditions in the dining halls and the food. Hopefully, they will be able to improve upon these things as much as the plan improvements.

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