Absolutely! Take a friend, roommate, parent or guest anywhere your meal plan is accepted. You need to be present as cards cannot be loaned. Your discounted student price will be applied to each person.
First, don't panic. This does happen on occasion. Money can be added to your meal plan if you have the Athletic or Large plan. Some rules apply, so please see Dining Services' website. You can always just pay cash, but you'll get a better deal and greater convenience by visiting the Connection Card Office and adding money to your plan. If you have a Medium or Small meal plan, you cannot add money to those plans, but you should add money to a Freedom Plan. It will give you a discount, and is much more convenient that paying with cash or credit.
The Connection Card Office is located in the Student Union and Recreation Center, Room 131, just north of the west entrance to the building, right by the doors to KCWU radio. The Connection Card Office manages the functions of your Central Connection Card, which includes the money on your meal plan as well as any additional money in the form of a General Debit or Freedom plan. The Connection Card Office is the primary location to make any changes to your meal plan or to add money to your meal plan or general campus debit plan.
There are tremendous costs to operate the Dining facilities, with the majority of those expenses incurred at the beginning of the school year. For example, many of our large warehouse purchases are made at that time. Overall, our bulk purchasing saves money which allows us to pass those savings on to you for the rest of the year. This makes student finances a little tighter in the fall, but offers some relief in both the winter and spring quarters. Most students seem to appreciate the lower costs as the academic year advances.
This is the most frequently asked question of all. $1,429 of your money is applied to overhead. Overhead is all of the costs associated with the production of meals. This includes wages, ordering, preparing, serving and clean-up as well as costs like electricity, maintenance, etc. The good news is that because you pay the overhead upfront what you actually pay in Dining Dollars is just the cost of the food. So, when you go to the Holmes "all you care to eat," you pay about 65% less than the cash customer. Even a burger, fries and drink will only take a few bucks off your card. You will pay 65% less at a prepared food venue, 20% less at the coffee bar and smoothie kiosk, and 20% less at the "C-store."
The discounts are different because the costs to operate the locations are different. There is much more labor and maintenance overhead cost in a food venue than in a coffee kiosk. The overhead you've paid covers the greater costs in the prepared food venues and is why your discount is higher there. Your best value is at the prepared food venues.
Holmes Dining Room with the all-you-care-to-eat format is nutritionally sound and the best value price-wise. The coffee/smoothie stand and C-store are available for your convenience, similar to a convenience store in your hometown. Your Connection Card and meal plan also provide convenience when you don't have cash available. However, your meal plan is designed to work most effectively in the food venues like North Village Cafe, Central Marketplace, and the Holmes Dining Room.
No. Meal plans are designed to meet the nutritional needs of students. Sweatshirts in the bookstore, while good-looking, warm and fuzzy, are low in nutritional value when compared to a lunch or dinner in the Holmes Dining Room. However, if you put money on the Connection Card general campus debit plan you can use those funds in the Wildcat Shop or anywhere else that the Connection Card is accepted.
There are 6 ways to provide input to Dining Services: