Last year, confused students were taken by surprise by not being able to use meal swipes to eat on campus over fall break.
Instead, students had to pay the usual fee of $6.50 per meal. This caused some issues with students needing to stay on campus, whether it be for athletics, events, or students not going home despite the long weekend.
METZ Culinary Management, Maryville College’s contracted dining service supplied on campus, provides students with an array of options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner at Pearson’s dining hall as well as Isaac’s Café.
METZ is a national food service vendor that serves other colleges and universities in a mutually beneficial relationship for the student, the college, and METZ. The contract binding the college and METZ gets revisited every year to meet the demands of the students and make potential changes.
The college currently has a ten year contract with METZ. The price point for meal plans are determined by the amount of days that the meals are offered, which does not include when the college is closed during breaks.
Due to the college closing during breaks, dining options are not provided in the usual way, causing a disruption for those depending on their usual on-campus services. This year, Maryville College decided to cover the extra days of fall break dining that would not have been covered by students’ meal swipes.
This decision by the college was an effort to create a more equitable dining option for students staying on campus. Students are sometimes required to stay on campus, whether it be for athletics, events, or work to name a few, creating problems for students who may not have the funds to pay potentially $19 every day of break for all their meals.
Before fall break arrived, students were asked to fill out a survey to determine just how many students were going to be on campus over fall break.
“The survey gave an estimate of students being here,” said Director of Student Services, Jessica Boor. “So, students will come in [to Pearson’s], sign their name, and, as long as they have an established meal plan, they can go in like normal. Anyone without a plan would pay the normal rate.”
“The food here is the best food I’ve had on any campus I’ve served,” said Dr. Melanie Tucker, Vice President and Dean of Students. Tucker serves as an advocate for students and appreciates the way METZ serves local ingredients and different options for students every day.
The college makes strides every year to cover students’ needs, including the handful of students that need to stay on campus during breaks. This year, students certainly benefited from the college covering their meals over fall break.