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Members discuss Flex 10

Maddie Hanna | Tuesday, January 18, 2005

The possibility of introducing a “Flex 10″ meal plan was the primary concern at Monday’s Campus Life Council meeting, which also heard progress reports from three task forces.”This isn’t really a call to do anything specific right now, but a call to Food Services to explore and delve into other options,” said James Leito, Siegfried senator and member of the Committee on Residence Life that examined the issue.Currently, the two meal plans offered to on-campus students are the “Flex 14” plan, which includes 14 meals a week and 260 Flex Points, and the “Premium 21,” which includes 21 meals a week and no Flex Points. Off-campus students can build their own meal plans by purchasing block meals and as many Flex Points as they choose.According to the October 2004 Student Government Dining Hall Issues Survey, if given the choice, over 50 percent of students would choose a “Flex 10″ option providing 10 meals a week and additional Flex Points.”When I was a freshman, I thought the dining hall was the coolest thing – I could get as much chocolate milk as I wanted – but by the time you’re a senior, the dining hall kind of loses its romance,” student body president Adam Istvan said.The survey also found that over 96 percent of students choosing a meal plan select the “Flex 14” and a majority of these students use all of their Flex Points before the end of the semester.However, the additional meal plan option could present some complications.According to Leito, the “Flex 10” might change the financial cost of meal plans.”Since Food Services already counts on students eating fewer than 14 meals a week, [with “Flex 10″] the price per meal could go up or costs might be cut,” Leito said.Istvan added that to reduce dining hall cost, the variety of food offered might need to be reduced.”That’s something Food Services will have to crunch numbers on,” he said. Chief executive assistant Dave Baron also commented on the implications for Notre Dame Food Services employees.”Any change here [in the meal plan system] would affect the amount of pay given to dining hall workers,” he said. Last week, Student Senate passed a resolution intended to promote further discussion of the plan in Food Services.CLC will vote on a resolution at its next meeting to send to Father Mark Poorman, vice president for student affairs.

In other CLC news: u Jordan Bongiovanni, Cavanaugh senator and co-chair of the social concerns task force, said committee members would meet next week to collaborate research on diversity at “Top 20″ and peer institutions that compare to Notre Dame.Bongiovanni also said that the social concerns committee has been communicating with student and faculty groups on campus working towards the same goal of increasing diversity awareness. The social concerns committee will compile data to send to the Feb. 3 Board of Trustees meeting, which will focus on issues of racial equality.”We spent a good deal of the first semester doing research, and this is a perfect opportunity to use it,” Baron said.u On the topic of campus vending, Leito said Dave Prentkowski, director of Notre Dame Food Services, was impressed with the vending committee’s data and planned to solicit 2000 students’ opinions via email regarding laundry and vending.”The most telling numbers are the 16 [or] 17 schools that charge less than us,” Leito said. “Several people have told us that vending is considering lowering prices as a result of this research.”u O’Neill senator Alex French said the security task force had obtained maps of lighting around campus.”We can finally look into that matter better,” French said.Additionally, French said committee members would meet with police officers from three jurisdictions to work on a ListServ informing students of campus security issues.A program would take place in each dorm discussing fire safety is also in the works, French said.